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Modern Wheeled Armoured WC2N 4BT-
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Renault VAB armoured personnel canier |42 Miller (Malta) Ltd, M.A. Vassalli Street. Val-
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t'lodernWheeled
Armoured Personnel
Carriers Pcrrt
In spite of the rise in impoftance of the tracked vehicle in the
Many armoured personnel carriers
are today fitted with long range anti-
atmies of the world, the wheeled APC remains an important tank gaided weapons, so turning
them into highly effective tank
item in the military inventory. It is particuJarly usefiil in destroyers. This PanhardVCR (6x6)
second-echelon tasl<s and for the increasingly impoilant has a E uromis sile UTM - 800 tunet
with four Eu romrbsije flO?missiles
internal seqlrity role. ready to launch.

For many years wheeled armoured personnel carriers possessed only sharing many components with the Alvis Saladin 6x6 armoured car
limited cross-country mobility compared with their tracked counter- developed at the same time. The Saracen was rushed into production as
parts, and therefore were often limited to roads, being used to transport it was urgently needed in Malaya dLrrtnq the early I95Os. Many oi the
troops from the rear area to points near the front line where the men modem wheeled armoured personnel carriers described here use the
dismounted to fight on foot. Some countiies, including the United States, same automotive components as an armoured car developed by the
had no requirement ior wheeled armoured personnel carriers at all, and same company (the M3 has 95 per cent commonautomotive components
it was not until the Vietnam conflict that the US Army purchased large wtth the AML armorued car, for example) wrth obvious logistical training
numbers of the private venh-rre Cadillac Gage V-100 4x4 Commando and financial savrrgs for the operators,
range of multl-purpose vehicles . It should be noted, however, that these For the rrerna-l security roie special versions of wheeled armoured
were used mainly for escorting convoys of supplies from one camp to personnel carriers have been developed, these normally equipped with
another or patrolling high risk areas such as airports, fuel dumps and barricade-cl.earing equipment, CS gas dispensers or water cannon, and
ammunition compounds, rather than for transporting troops into actlon, specral prcie*ion against petrol bombs which can easily cause a vehi-
The Soviet Union, on the other hand, has continued to develop both cie to catch fire, so forcrrg the occupants to leave their vehicle. Instead
tracked and wheeled armoured personnel carriers on an almost con- of usrng hea-rdy armoured wheeled armoured personnel carriers, many
tlnual basis, and the two types are compiementary. The tracked vehicles counfies use modified light vehicles such as the Land Rbver, these
have excellent cross-country mobillty and are therefore capable of berng normally provrded with protectron from small arms fire and naij
keeping up with tanks and other armoured fiqrhting vehicles moving bombs. They do not provide the same degree of protection as vehicles
across country, while the wheeled armoured personnel carriers have a like the VAB or Ttansportpanzer, but their small size makes them useful
greater road speed and therefore better strategic mobility, so that in most ric:-control situations, where the employment of larger vehicles,
troops can be quickly brought up from the rear areas to exactly where often clearly identified as mllitary, can make the situatlon even worse.
they are needed, or switched ftom one area to another at short notice.
The United Kingdom started development programmes for full- A anvoy of South Alrican Ratel APCS depart at dawn from the Operational
Area in Namibia for a raid deep into Angola. ?iese rajds are often large
tracked armoured personnel carriers soon after the end of World War II, oprations supported by artillery, aircraft and helicopters, and thenite/fias
but it was the Alvis Saracen 6x6 vehicle wtuch entered service fi.rst, this ,been desfumed for use in this testing environment.
n heia,rrt VAB armoured carrier
Some years ago the French army de-
cided to issue its infantry battalions
with both tracked and wheeled
armoured personnel carriers, the for-
mer beinq the AMX-10P burlt by the
ARE, To meet the requirement for the
wheeled vehicle, designated VAB
(V6hicle de I'Avant Blinde, or fronl
armoured vehicle), prototypes were
built by Panhard and Saviem/Renault
in both 4x4 and 6x6 configuratlors, In
May 1974 the Renault design was
selected, and first production vehicles
were delivered to the French army ln
1976. The total French army require-
ment is for at least 4,000 vehlcles, and
production is already running at be-
tween 30 and 50 vehicles per month.
The VAB has been offered on the ex-
port market, and by mid-I984 over 800
had been exported, sales having been
made to the Ivory Coast, Cyprus,
lrebanon, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman,
Qatar and the United Arab Emuates,
Of these Morocco is the largest oper- Above: At present the French armY
ator, having purchased over 400 vehi- uses only the 4x 4 VAB, which is
cles; some ofthese have already been slighily cheaper than the 6 x 6. T his
Iost in the flghting in the Sahara against particalar VAB is not fitted with water
the Polisario gnrerrrllas. jets under the hull at the rear, or with
The VAB is currently produced in a roof- mounted weapon station,
4x4 and 6x6 configurations, the latter which normally carries a 7 .62-mm
costing about l0 per cent more but (0.s-in)MG.
having gneater cross-country capabil-
ity. At present the French anny uses SAMs) aad artilank velncle. There
only the 4x4 model. are two versiors ofthe latter, the IIfM
The VAB has a hull of all-welded 800 and the Mephisto. The former has a
steel armour construction with the turret with four HOT ATGWs in the
driver and commander at the foont (the ready-to{aunch position, while the lat-
latter also operating the roof-mounted ter has a similar number of HOT
7.62-mm/0.3-in machine-9nrn), the en- ATGWs on a launcher retracted flush
qine compartment to their immediate along the top of the hull untii it is re-
rear, and the troop compartment at the quired for achon. Above : A Re nault VAB ( 6 x 6) for the Below: A RenaultVAB (4x4) vehicle
rear of the hr-rll; an arsle connects the To reduce operation and Procure- expoil market, fittd with the new used by theFrench army and fitted
tont of the vehicle with the troop com- ment costs, well trred commercial Creusot-Inke on*man turret armed with the RATAC (Radar de Tir pour
partment. The infantry enter and leave components have been used in the de- with a 20-mn cannon. TheVAB can Artillerie de Campagne) radar on the
via two doors in the huli rear, and the sign of the VAB range of armoured be fitted with a wide range of roof.This can detect, identify, locate
toops are seated five down each side vehicles, Usrrq the same automotive armament systems to enable it to and automatically track a vaiety of
facing the centre. The VAB is fdly components, Renault has designed the undertake difrerent toles on the ground targets, including armoured
amphibious, berng propelied in the \/BC 90 6x6 armoured car which is battlefield. vehicles.
water by its wheels or, as an option, by now il
sewice with Oman and the
hvo waterjets at the rear of the hull, French Gendarmerie.
Standard equrpment on French army
vehicles lncludes an NBC system and Specification
passive night-vision equipment. VA3(4x4model)
French army VABs are fitted with a Crew 2+ l0
cupoia-mounted 7,62-mm (0.3-in) Combatweisht: 13000 kg(28,660 Ib)
machine-gun, but a wide range of Powerplant: one MAN 6-cylilder
other armament options js available, inlne diesel developing 235 hP
includinq turret-mounted 12.7-mm (17s kur)
(0.5-in) machine-gmns and 20-mm can- Dimensions: length 5 98 m (19 ft 7,4 in);
non. The basrc vehicle has also been wrdth2,49 m (8 ft2 rr): heightwithout
adopted for a wide ranqe ofother roles armament2.06 m(6 ft9 in)
includingt a forward ambulance, inter- Performance: maximum road speed
nal security vehicle, command veht- 92 lan/h(57 mph); maxrmumroad
cle, repair vehicle, Bl-mm mortar car- range 1000 kn (621 miles); fording
rier, 120-mm (4.72-in) mortar tower, amphlbious; grrad:ent 60 per cent;
anti-aircraft vehicle (with hvin 20-mm vertical obstacle 0.6 m (2 ft 0 in);
rapid-fire cannon or short range trench not applicable

fI ithi"t u(B-tz0 armoured personnel carrier


After World War II Berliet was a ma.1or ance ofthe Renault/Saviem vehicle to
supplier of trucks to the French army, meet this requirement, production and
and in the late 1960s desigmed and marketing of the VXB-170 ceased as
built the prototype of a wheeled APC there was no point in two parts of the
called the BL-12 which used a number same gEoup producing vehicles of a
of standard heavy dutY commercial
components. Further development of A B er liet VX B (4 x 4) armoured
this resulted in the V)E-I70 whlch was personnel carrier at speedwith
subseguently adopted by the French armoured shutters over the driver's
Gendarmerie as well as Gabon and windscreens in the open position.
Senegal, In 1975 Berliet was taken over When in a combat zone these cover
by the Renault grroup, who had by then thewindscreens, and thedfiver then
already built prototypes of 4x4 and sees the terrain ahead through three
6xO vehlcles to meet the French army r oof- m ou n te d Perrscopes,
VAB requirement, With the accept- replaceable from inside the vehicle.

It42

t_
Berliet VXB- I 70 APC (continued) Modern Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers
similar nah;re, but as far as it is known these were
The hull of the VXB-170 ls of all- never fitted to any production APCs.
welded steel construction with a max- Vehicles used by the French Gendar-
imum thickness of 7 mm (0.27 in). The merie have a hydraulically-operated
driver is seated at the front ofthe hull in obstacle-clearing blade at the front of
the centre with a large wrndscreen to the hull, and optional egulpment in-
his ftont and a smaller one on each cludes bullet-proof tyres, nighfvision
side. In an internal security situation equipment, a winch and a heater,
these rvindscreens are covered by Beriiet ofered three families of the
armoured flaps and the driver then VXB-I7O: one was for internal security
obsewes the terrain ahead through use and the two others were the light
t\ree roof-mounted periscopes. The reconnaissance vehicle and the light
toops enter the vehicle through three combat vehicle. These were ofered
doors, one rn each side and the third in with a wrde range of weapon options
the hull rear on the right side. Hatches including the Hrspano-Suiza turret
are provrded in the rooi and as usual a armed with twin 7.62-mm (0,3-in) I nfantry armed with 9 - mm MAT 49 (0.3-in) machine-ganner prepares to
wide range of armament installations machine-gn:rs and a 60-mm breecV sub-machine guns remount their give covering fire if required. The
could be fitted. The vehicles used by muzzleloaded mortar, and the H-90 Berliet VXB I 70 (4 x 4) armoured Iargest user of the VXB is the French
the French Gendarmerre have a small h.rret armed with a 90-mm (3.54-in) personnel carrier while the 7.62-mm Gendarmerie.
SAMM one-man tufiet armed wrth a gmn and a 7.62-mm (0.3-in) co-axiai
7.62-mm (0,3-in) machine-gun and a machine gnm; both hffetrs were at that
40-mm gnenade-launcher whrch can time standard for the Panhard AML-90
be elevated from -15' to +60'; the light armoured car.
grrenade-launcher is normally used to
launch tear gas grrenades to disperse Specification
crowds. vxB-170
The engine compartment is at the Crew: l+ ll
rear of the vehicle on the rrght side, Combatweisht: 12700 kq(27,997 Ib)
and the diesel engrine is coupied to a Powerplant: one BerlietVB00 MV-B
pre-selective gearbox with six for- diesel developing U0 hp ( 127 kW)
ward and one reverse qear and a two- Dimensions: length 5.99 m (19 ft B 1n);
speed transfer case, Steering is pow- width2,50 m(B ft2,4 in); heishtwithout
er-assjsted to reduce driver fatigrLre, armament 2.05 m (6 ft 8.7 in)
and the suspersion consists of helicai Performance: maximum road speed
springs and hydrauiic shock absor- BS kn/h(53 mph); maximumroad
bers, The VXB-170 is fully amphibioru, range 750 kn (466 miles); fordrng A Berliet VXB 1 70 (4x 4) armoured the VXB familtz was phased out of
being propeiled in the water by its amphibious; gnadient 60 per cent; pers onnel c arrier with all roof production as the RenauftV'qB Gx4
wheels at a speed of
krn/h (2,5 mph);
4 verticalobstacle0.3 m(l ft0 in); hatche s open. When the B erliet and 6x 6) serles had more scope for
wate{ets were ofered as an option, trench not applicable company w as taken over by Renault further development.

ru i,"nt
"ra
VCR armoured personnel carrier
Followrng the success of its AML and hatch cover and periscopes for was the VCRm{ antitank vehicle, of There is also a 4x4 model of the
M3 range of 4x4 armoured vehicles, observation. The troop compartment is whrch i06 have been supplied to lraq, VCR which has recently entered pro-
Panhard went on to develop the ERC at the rear and has twia doors in the Thrs rs fitted wrth the Euromrssile UTM ductron for an undisclosed counEy.
6x6 armoured car and VCR 6xo hull rear, with roof hatches and firing/ BCr0 hlret with four HOT ATGWs in the and this can be propelled in the waler
armoured personnel carrier, which obsewation ports in the upper part. ready{o-fire position and a further 10 by two waterjets at a speed of 7.zinrifr:
shate over 90 per cent common auto- The main armament is normally mrssiles rr the hull, Mounted over the (4,5 mph), Por trials purposes one pro-
motive components such as engnne, mounted over the forward part of the rear part of the troop compartment is a totype of the VCR 4x4 has been fitted
Eansmission, suspension, steering and troop compartment and can consist of remote-controlled 7.62-mm (0.3,in) with the Ewomissile Mephisto ann-
wheels. The first prototype of the VCR a pintle-mounted 7.62-mm (0,3-in) or machine-gun, This model has a crew of tank system.
(Vehicule de Combat A Roues, or i2,7-mm (0.5-in) machine-gnrn, or a tur- fou and has been used rn the fighting
wheeled combat vehicle) was shown ret wrth similar weapons or a 20-mm between lraq and lran. The ambu- Specification
tn 1977, the first production vehicles cannon. An unmual feahrre of the VCR lance version is the VCR/IS, and has a vcR
being compieted just two years iater. is its wheei arrangement as all six higher roof so the medical staf can Crew:3+9
The VCR has been designed speci- wheels are powered, with power- stand up, This can carry sx seated and conibat weight: 7000 kg (15,432 lb)
fcally for the export market, and assisted steering on the front wheels hvo stretcher patlents or four stretcher Powerplant: one Peugeot PRVV-6
known sales have been made to only, \trIhen the VCR is travel[ng on patients plus the three-man crew con- petrol engine developing 155 hp
Argentina, Iraq and the United Arab roads, the centre road wheel on each sistrng of commander, driver and (11s.6 kw)
Emrrates. side is normally raised off the grround. medrca.l orderly, The ambulance ver- Dimensions: lenqth 4, 565 m ( 14 ft
The VCR has an all-welded huli The VCR ts fully amphibious, being sion is lflown to have been supplied to 11.7 in); width2.495 m(B ft2.2 rn);
which varies in thickness from B to propelled in the water by its wheels at the United Arab Emirates. The com- heightwithoutarmament 2.03 m (6 ft
12 mm (0,315 to 0.47 in), the very front a speed of 4 krn/h (2.48 mph). Optionai mand post version is the VCR/PC, 8 in)
of the vehicle being almost identical equipment includes an air- which has communications equipment Performance: maximum road speed
with that of the Panhard M3 4x4 conditioning system, passive night- and mapboards. The repair vehicle is 100 krr/l: (62 mph); maximumrange
armoured persdnnel carrier, The driv- vision eguipment, an NBC system and the VCR/AT, fitted wrth a block and 800 lan (497 miles); fording
er is seated at the front wrth the engine a front-mounted winch for self- tackle for lifting out engines and other amphibious; qradient 60 per cent;
:3 hjs right rear and the commander to recovery or assjsting other vehicles, componentsi it carries a fr:lI range of vertical obstacle 0.8 m (2 ft 7.5 in);
:::s left rear, Both have a single-piece The first model to enter production spares and tools, but no winch, trench I. I m (3 ft 7,3 in)

A s tardar d P anhard VCR /'lT The P anhard VCR/ TH anti- tank The Panhard ENC 8 1 -mm mortar grun T his P anhard VCR/ Tl arm o ured
atmouted personnel carrier with a vehicle k fitted with a Euromissile carrier is amemherof theERC range personnel carrier k fitted with a on*
AA-mm cannon over the forward part UTM - 800 one- man tufi et amed with of armoured cars which shares man tufiet amed with a 20 -mm
of the top comparttnent and a 7.6 2- four Euromissile HOT long-range common components with the VCR cannon. AllVCRs are fully
nm (0. 3 - in ) m achine- gan at rear. anti-tankweapons. rangeoIAPCs. atnp hi bi ou s wi thou t p r e par a ti on.
m i'"itr"ra M3 armoured personnel carrier
The M3 armowed personnel carrier
was designed as a private venture by
Panhard, and the flrst production vehi-
cles were completed in 1971, The
vehicle uses 95 per cent corffnon auto-
motle components mth the Panhard
AML armoured car, of which some
4,000 have now been built by Panhard
or manufactured under licence in
South A-foica by Sandock-Austral, This
enables a country to purchase a fleet of
armoured cars and personnel carriers
which share the same components,
permitting significant savings in train-
ing and spare parts holdings, Over 25
countries have now purchased the
vehicle, some for army use and some
for police use. For example, Algeria
has recently taken delivery of 44 veht-
cles for ils gendarmerie fitted with a
one-man twret armed with a machine-
gmn. It also has the VPC, VAT, Vi,A and
VTS variants (see below) in servtce,
The hull of the M3 is of all-welded
steel armour corstruction which varies
in thickness from B to 11mm (0.315 to
0,43 in). The driver is seated at the
front of the hull, wlth the engine to his
immediate rear. The engine is coupled
to a manual gearbox with six forward
and one reverse gear, and power is
transmitted to the four road wheels by
drive shafts that run rnsrde the hull. The
troop compartment is at the rear of the This Panhard M3 armoured personnel carfier has ffie drjver's i atch open and is fr.tted with a Creusot-Loire STB
hull, a single door being provlded in shieldwithaT.62-mm(0.3-in)machine-gan.Designed as aprivateventure, theM3 has beenpurchasedbymore
each slde of the hull and hvin doors in than 25 countries, with more than 4000 vehicles in service.
the hull rear. In the upper part of the
hull side, whlch slopes inwards, are
three hatches hinged at the top, these
enabling troops to use their small arms
from within the vehrcle, The main
armament is normaily mounted in the
roof to the rear of the engine compart-
ment, this armament ranging from a
twret with single or twrn 7,62-mm (0.3-
in) machine-gnrns to a power-operated
turret with a 20-mm cannon, Over the
rear of the troop compartment is a
small hatch on which is normally irstal-
led a rail mount with a 7,62-mm (0,3-in) A standard Panhard M3 armoured The anti- airsalt member of the This Panhard M3 is used in the fire
machine-gnrn, penonnel caftier showing rear {amifiy is callexj the M3 WA and is support role and is fitted with a
The M3 is fully amphiblous, being toop doors and a roof-mounted fitted with a one-man turret amed B randt fi
pe HB 60 -mm breech/
propelled in the water by its wheels at 7. 6 2 - mm @.3 -in) machine-wn. All withtsinA&mm annon. muzzle loaded mortar in a special
a speed of 4 kr:,/h (2,48 mph), but it can M 3s are fully amphibiou s. mount.
only operate in lakes and nvers wrth a
slow current. Many vehicles are fitted The anti-alrcraft model is called the VI"A" ard s i:eo n= a :-l'saulically- 90 hp (67 kw)
wrth channels which can be qutckly M3 VDA and is fitted with a Power- operateci icze: b-.ie a: lont of the Dimensions:length4,45 m (14 ft7,2 in);
=e width 2.40 m (? ft 10,5 tn); height
removed and placed rn front of the operated hffet armed with twin 20- huli for clea:=g :cs:acJ.es
vehicle to allow it to cross ditches and nim cannon, The M3 VAT rePair vehi- wrthout armament 2,00 m (6 ft 6,7 in)
other battlefield obstacles, If required, cle has a fuil range oftools and is fltted Performance: maximum road sPeed
the M3 can be fltted with passive night- wrth a tilc for lifting engines in the field Specification 90 kn/ir (56 mph); maxmumange
vision equipment for the driver, an air- The M3 VPC command vehicle has ex- M3 600 krr (373 miles); fording
conditioning system (essential in the tensive communications equipment Crew:2+ iC amphiblous; grradtent 60 per cent;
Middle East) and smoke dischargers, The ambulance model of the family is Combatweighr c-il kg:-.: 4€ lb) verhcalobstacle 0,3 m (1 1% in)i trench
The basic M3 has also been adopted called the M3 VTS and is unarmed Powerplant c:-e *.a:c r"'1cdei 4l{D wrth one channel0,8 m (2 ft 7,5 in) or
for a number olmore specialized roles. The engineer vehicle version is the M3 4-ryhnder pe::r e:;:e ie.;eicp::gl with three channels 3, I m ( l0 ft 2 in)

ffi nErvrnt armoured personnel carrier


For well over 25 years the Ateliers de gine at the ftont, commander and dnv-
Construction M6canique de I'Atlanti- er in the centre and the troop compart-
que (ACMAT) have been bulding a ment at the rear, The commander and
wide range of 4x4 and 6x6 cross- driver each have a llrndscreen to their
country trucks which have excepttonal front which can be quickly covered by
range and durability, These have been an armoured shutter, a side door lvrth a
sold to more than 30 countries tn Afri- bullet-proof window in its upper part,
ca, the Mrddle East and the Far East. and a singtle-piece hatch cover above
The company also realzed that there their positron.
was a market for an atmowed person-
nel carrier on the same chassis and has AnACMATVSC armoured
therefore recently introduced the TPK personnel carrier with an oPen'
4.20 VSC, which is now in sewice with topped troop compartment, in which
a number of countries including Gabon can be mounted an I I -mm mortar or
and the Ivory Coast, other Wes of we apons. The ACM AT
The layout of the TPK 4.20 VSC is arm oi re d v e hicles h ave e x cep tion a I
srmrlar to that of a truck, with the en- range and durability.

\44
ACIVIAT armoured personnel carrier (continued) Modern Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers
The troops are seated on bench are to arrive at their objective in any
seats down each side of the vehicle, condition to fight, and different radio
and can exit qurckly through the hvo systems, Other armament options in-
doors in the hull rear. Ifrequued, firing clude a Euromissile MILAN ATGW
ports and/or vision blocks can be pro- system with additional misslles carried
vided in the sides and rear ofthe troop internally in the troop compartment,
cofnpartment, and a 7.62-mm (0.3-in) and an Bl-mm Brandt mortar firing to
or l2,7-mm (0.5-in) machine-gnm firret the rear, In most infantry battalions six
can be mounted on the roofofthe vehi- or eight mortars are normally issued to
cie to give covering fire while the in- provide immediate and close-range
fantry dismount from the vehicle. support for the infantry, Artillery sup-
Another model of the vehrcle has an port :s normally not organic to an infan-
open{opped rear troop compartment try battalion, although for some mis-
with sides that can quickly folded sions (for example a long-range patrol
down on the outside. in North Africa by a battallon of infantry
The well proven Perkins six- ir ACMAT trucks), it wouid often have
cylinder diesel engdne is coupled to a a battery of four 105-mm (4, I3-in)
manual gearbox with four forward and howitzers towed by similar vehicles,
one reverse gear and a two-speed
trarsfer case. Steedng is of the worm Specification
and nut type, and the exceptional TPK4.20VSC
operating range of 1600 Isn (994 mrles) Crew:2*B
results from the large-capacity fuel Combatweight: 7300 kg(16,094 lb)
tank, which holds 370 litres (81.4 lmp Powerplant: one Perhrs Model 6. 354. 4
gal), A spare wheel and tyre is nonnal- G-cylnder diesel developing 125 hp
ly carried on the wall to the immediate (93 kW)
rear of the commander's and ddver's Dirnensions: length 5.98 m ( 19 ft 7.4 in); 95 kn/h (59 mph); maximumrange An ACM AT VBL light armoured car
position. Optional equipment includes width 2,07 m (6 ft 9,5 in); height 2,21 m 1600 lcn (994 mrles); fording O,B m (2 ft with all hatches closed and fitted
an air-conditioning system, essential in (7 ft 3 in) 7,5 rn); gradient 60 per cent; trench not with a one-man Creusot-Loire turret
many parts of the world if the infantry Performance: maximum road speed appllcable arme d with one m achine-qrun.

_ sPAtN

td BMR-600 infantry fighting vehicle


In the early 1970s the Spanish army comprlses a 7,62-mm (0,3-in) external-
issued a requirement for a 6 x 6 infantry ly-mounted machine-gun, although
flghting vehicle which was subse- other weapon stations can be fitted,
quently developed by ENASA and the The vehicle rs flrliy amphibious, and
Spanish army under the desigmation if required can be delivered with
Pegaso 3.500, later BMR-600 (Blndado waterjets which gnve it a maxrmum wa-
M edio de Ruedas, or wheeied medium ter speed of I0 lcoh (6.2 mph), Steer-
armoured vehicle). This was tested ing is powered to reduce driver fati-
alongside the Swss MOWAG Piranha gue, and is unusual in that it is on both
6xO and French Renault VAB 6xo the front and rear axles, The engine rs
vehicles, and accepted for service coupled to an automatic transmrssion
against a total requirement for at least wrth six forward and one reverse gear,
500, The company have now de- torque.converter and hydraulic retar-
veloped a complete family of vehicles der,
iisrng the same basrc chassls, namely Vehicles used by the Spanish army
the Pegaso 3560/I armoured person- have a machine-gnrn with an elevation
nel carrier, the Pegaso 3560/3 8l-mm of f60" and a depression of - 15" in a
mortar carrier, the Pegaso 3560/4 I20- turret capable of 360o traverse, Some
mm mortar towing vehicle, the Pegaso 2,500 rounds of ammunition are carried
3560/5 battalion command vehrcle and for this weapon, For trials puposes a
the Pegaso 3564 fire-support vehicle BMR-600 has been fitted with the Euro-
which can be fitted with a variety of missile HCT turret with four HOT wire- A BMR - 6 0 0 inf antry fighting vehicle unusual feature of thisvehicle is that
tufiets such as the French TS-90 two- guided antr-tank missiles in the ready- as usedbyffieSpanish army and both thefront and rear axles can be
man turret armed with a 90-mm (3,54- tolaunch position, additional mjssiles titted with a one-man turret armed sfeered and tfi e suspension a dj usted
in) gnm. The Pegaso 3562 VEC cavalry berng carried in reserve, An anti- with a remote- co ntrolled I 2,7 -mm to suit the Upe of terrain being
scout vehicle has a brand new hull but aircraft version vnth a 20-mm Meroka (0.5-in) M2 HB machine-gan.An crossed.
uses the same automotive components cannon or missiles is also being prop-
as the basic infantry flghting vehicle, osed.
and is fitted wrth a tvuo-man power-
operated hffet armedmth a 20-mmor Specification
25-mtn cannon; this model is already in BMR.600
servrce with the Spanish army. Crew:2+ I I
The hu]1 of the BMR-600 armowed Combatweight: 13750 kg(30,313 lb)
personnel carrier is of all-welded alu- Powerplant: one Pegaso 9157/8 6-
mrmum construction which provides cylinder diesel developing 306 hp
complete protection against 7,62-rffn (228 kW)
(0.3-in) armour-piercing rounds over Dimensions: length 6 15 m (20 ft 2, 1 in);
the frontal arc and 7.62-mm (0,3-in) ball width 2,50 m (8 ft 2,4 in); height to hull
over the remainder ofthe vehicle, The top 2,00 m (6 ft 6.7 in)
driver is seated at the front ofthe vehi- Performance: maximum road speed
cle on the left with the machine- 100 lcn/it (62 mph); maxmum range
gnmner/radio operator to his rear and 700 lcn (435 miles); fording
the engine compartment to their right, amphibious; gradrent 68 per cent;
The troop compartment is at the rear of vertical obstacle 0.8 m (2 ft 7,5 in);
the hull, and has accommodation for I l trench 1,2 m (3 ft I 1,2 in)
firlly equipped troops who enter and
leave the vehicle through a power-
operated ramp in the hull rear. De- A BMR-600 used in the fire support
pending on the model, firing ports and./ and anti-tank role, and fitted with the
or vision blocks are provided in the French G I AT TS -9 0 turre t armed with
iroop compartment to allow the troops the long-banelled 90 -mm gan which
io fire theu weapons from within the can fire a wide range of fixed
veLrcle, The main armament normaily ammunition, including APFS D S.
SPAIN
E
f BtR-600 armoured personnel carrier
The BtR-600 (Blindado Ligero de rings. The commander's and driver's
Ruedas, or wheeled light armowed windows can be guickly covered bY
vehicle) is one of two armoured vehi- shutters, and each is provided with a
cles of the wheeled type currently standard water washer and another
being produced by Empresa Nacional one fiiled with solvent to deal with
de Autocamiones, the other being the paint or other liquids on the wind-
BMR-600 6 x 6 infantry fighting vehicle, screens.
The BLR 4x4 vehicle is designed In addition to the less Powerfi:l en-
mainly for internal security operatiors, gine already mentioned, the BLR can
however, and is used in this role by the also be fitted with a wide range of
Spanish army and Spanish civil gnrard. optional equrpment including a manu-
Many of the automotive components al transmission in place of the automa-
are taken from standard commercial tic transmisslon, CS gas dischargers,
vehucles aiready in production. loudspeakers (also essential in IS op-
The layout ofthe BLR is unusual, the erations to warn crowds to disperse),
commander and driver being seated power-take-off and so on.
-
at the front of the vehicle with excellent More recently Empresa Nacional
observation to the front and sides, a Santa Barbara, Macosa and Land Rov-
essential reguirement for an lnternal er Santana have developed the BMU-2
security vehicle. The 12 fr:lly eguipped armoured personnel carrier based on
men are seated to the rear of the com- a long wheel base Land Rover chassis
mander and driver and alonqthe sides which is made in Spain bY Land Rover
ofthe huli at the rear, The engnne, cou- Santana. This can carry six men includ-
pled to an automatic toansmission with ing the driver and can be fitted with
torque converter and transfer case, is Iight weapons, although the manufac-
in the cente ofthe hull at the rear. No h.rer has suggested that it could aiso
less than four doors are provtded, one be fitted with a 106-mm (4.17-in) M40
in each side and tl,vo in the rear, so that series recoilless rifle for use in the anti-
in the event of an ambush the troops tank role.
qurckly leave the vehicle through at ABLR (4x4) armoured personnel the 12 troops carried to quickly leave
least one of the doors. There are four Specification carrier from the rear with all of its thevehicle in the eventof an antbush'
hatches in the roof in addition to a BI,R-600 doors in the open position. The large Firing ports and uisionblocks are
cupola located on the forward part of Crew:3* 12 nwnbr of dcors and hatches allows fitted.
the roof and armed with a 7,62-mm Combatweight: 11600 kg(25,574 lb)
(0.3-in) machine-gnrn, with a shield to Powerplant: one Pegaso 9220 6-
protect the gunner from enemy small cylinder diesel developlng 220 hP
arms fire. Depending on the actual (164k\ D
model, firing ports and/or vision blocks Dimerrsions:length5.65 m(iB ft6 4 in);
are provided in the sides and rear of width2,5 m(B ft2,4 in); heightwithout
the troop compartment to allow the armament I.99 m (6 ft 6.3 in)
men to fire their weapors foom within Performance: maximum roadsPeed
the vehicle, 86 krn/h(53.4 mph); maximumrange
The basic BLR is fitted with a six- 800 lrn (497 miles); fording l. I m (3 ft
cylinder water-cooled diesel develop- 7,3 rn); orradient 75 per cent; vertical
ing 220hp (l64kW) but the type is obstacle 0.6 m (1 ft 1 1.6 in); trenchnot
also available powered by a diesel en- appiicable
glne developingonly 170 hp (I27 kW).
In many riot sihrations, petrol bombs The BI'R (Blindado Ligero de Ruedas)
are thrown at the internal securtty was designed by EmPresa N acional
vehicles, and in addition to beirg fitted d e Au toc atnione s (who ak o bu ild the
with the normal flre-suppression sys- BMR-600 IIV) mainly for use in the
tem in its engine compadment, the internal secrrity role.It is nowused
BLR has in each ofthe irur road wheels by the Spankh army and Civil Guard.
hub outlets for fire suppressant in case Amament nomallY comPrises a
the tyres catch fire. The tyres are fitted 7.62-mm @.3-in) or I 2.7-mm (0.5-in)
with puncture-proof Hutchinson O- machine-gun.

SoUTHAFRICA
ffi
H Ratel 20 infantry figrhting vehicles
For many years the British-supplied been used on many of the deep strikes the fire-support vehicle and has a tvuo- is desigrned to support three or four
Alvrs Saracen 6x6 armoured person- into Angoia, where the tYPe's large man turet armed with the same 90- Ratei vehicles operating well away
nel carrier was the standard vehicle of operating range has proved to be very mm (3.54-in) gmn as fitted to the Eland from their main base. It has a three-
1ts type in the South African armY. Gefirl, The Moroccans have r:sed them light armoured car, together wlth a man crew and can carry nine contain-
When it became apparent that fuhlre agarnst the Polisario guerrillas in the 7.62-mm (0,3-in) co-axial and 7.62-mm ers each of which carries a specific
suppiies of armoured vehicles and Sahara desert, (0.3-in) anti-aircraft machine-gun, cargo such as ammunition, food, water,
their all-essential spare parts were m The basic vehicle is called the Ratel Some 69 rounds of 90-mm (3.54-in) tents and even showets. Fuel tanks in
some doubt, the South Alricans de- 20 and carries a total of I I men in the ammunition are carried, 29 in the turret the hull hold 2000 litres (440 Imp qal) of
cided to build a new vehicle to meet form of the commander and gnrnner tn and 40 in the hull, these being of the fuel, which can be transferred to other
their own requirements, Then as now, the turret, the driver at the front, the HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) or HE vehicles by onboard pumps,
Sandock-Austral was building a mod- anti-aircraft machine-gnrnner at the (high explosive) types, The command
ilied version of the Panhard AML 4 x4 rear and seven flrlly equipped infantry' member of the family has a nine-man Specification
Iight armoured car irr the South Afri- The two-man turret is armed wtth a crew consrsting of the commandet, Ratel 20
can'army under the name Eland, and French-designed 20-mm dual-feed driver, main gnrnner and six command Crew: 1l
the task of desigming and building the cannon and co-axiai 7.62-mm (03-in) staff, and is armed with a turret- Combatweight: 19000 kg (41,BBB Ib)
new vehicle was eriven to this com- machine-gnrn, a similar weapon being mounted 12.7-mm (0,5-in) M2 HB Powerplant: one Model D 3256 BTXF
pany, The first prototYPe was com- located on the turret roof for anti- maclune-qun and tuo 7.62-mm (0,3-in) 6-cylinder diesel developing 282 hp
aircraft defence. Mounted on each anti-.aircraft machine-guns. This (2r0 kw)
btet-ed in 1976, the first production Dimensions: len gIh7.2I2 m (23 ft B in);
vehlcles being comPleted just two side of the turret are two smoke- variant has map boards, a pneumati-
ye?us later, a remarkable achievement dischargers, and there is a 7.62-mm cally-operated mast, intercom, inter- wrdth2.516 m (B ft3 in); heightoverall
(0.3-in) antr-arcraft machlne-gun at the nal loudspeakers, public address sys- 2.915 m (9 ft 6.8 in)
by any standards. Since then some
Performance: maximum road speed
1,000 examples of the Ratel have been iiqht rear of the hull roof, The Ratel 60 tem and three radios for communica-
has a similar crew, but has a two-man tion with other vehicles and higher 105 km/h (65 mph); maximumrange
built for the home market and for ex-
port to Morocco. The South African turet armed wlth a 60-mm breech- command staff, 1000 hrr(621miles); fording 1.2 m (3 ft
loaded mortar, a 7.62-mm (0.3-in) co- More recently Sandock-Austral has I i.2 in); qrradient 60 per cent; vertical
army used the type operationally for
the first time in Operation 'Reindeer' in axial and a 7.62-mm (0.3-in) anti- built the prototype of the Ratel 8xB obstacle 0.35 m (l ft I.7 in); trench
May 1978, and since then Ratels have aucraft machine-gmn, The Ratel 90 ls logistic support vehicle, one of which L15m(3ft9.3in)

1 146
Ralel lnfantrg Fighting
VehicleinAction
The difficult conditions forced upon South Africa by the long struggle in Namibia has
led to the development of a number of weapons suited to the terrain and climate .
The Ratel APC ftas been amongst the mosl successfu I of these introductions.
The Ratel infantry flqhting vehicle has been exceptional range of 1000 km (621miles)
designed specifically to meet the require- which means the vehicles have often under-
ments of the South African infantry corps and at taken a complete mission into Angola and back
a later date was also adopted by the South without refuelling, although they are normally
A-frican armoured corps. In the former it has topped up with fuel whenever possible.
now replaced the British-suppiied Alvis For some time the South Alrican forces in
Saracen 6x6 armoured personnel carrier as it South West Afrlca (Namlbia) had been on the
has much improved armour protection, mobil- defensive against the SWAPO guerrillas in- A Ratel 20 with a 20-mm cannon, covered to proter'l
ity and fire power. The Saracen is armed wlth a filtrating from southern Angola, but in May 1978 it while in transit against the dust which gelc into
turret-mounted 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine-gmn, the South African army, heavily supported by every weapon. Unless the weapons are regalaily
a similar weapon being pintle-mounted at the the South African air force, struck back across cleaned they will not function at all,
rear for the anti-aircraft roie; it is also powered the border in Operation 'Reindeer' desigmed to
by a petrol engine, whose 200{itre (44-lmp gal) destroy SWAPO bases and kill as many gmer- were transferred from the eastern part of the
f.uel tank provides a range of399 km rillas as possible, This operation was consi- country to the western part. The South A-trican
(248 miles). The range of the Saracen is adegu- dered to be a major operationalsuccess, defence forces soon got wind that a major
ate for operations in Europe, but came no- although many countries denounced South ollensive would be launched into the area of
where near meeting the future reguirements of Africa fior striking deep iato Angola. the South West Africa.Command, and the
the South African army. Its lack of firepower By early 1980 thin€rs were going badly for general officer commanding soon obtained
also meant that it had to be supported by SWAPO, which had lost large numbers of men permission to mount a pre-emptive strike
another vehicle such as an Eland armoured and equipment, was short of food and faced against SWAPO targets in south west A:igoia.
car, with the prospect of increasingly numerous de- The aims of this operation, subsequently griven
The Ratel family includes versions armed sertions. SWAPO's popdarity had started to
with 90-mm (3.54-in) gnms, 20-mm cannon and decline not only amongst its own followers but A Ratel 20 infantry fighting vehicle at speed in
60-mm breech-loaded mortars, plus the usual also with its main supporters, ald the command Nanibia. This model has an I I -man crew and is
command and support vehicles, all of which staff realized that action had to be taken to fittedwith a two-man turret armedwith a French
use the same basic hull. The Ratel series has an restore SWAPO's credibility. SWAPO units 20-mm cannon and a co-axial 7.62-mm (0.3-in) MG.

a-:

t:

,:.:,, ':r: 2

:;:::j.:: :,: , :
.-,.,:::. -
Modern Wheeled Armorued Persormel Carriers
Right: The Ratel 90 Fire SupprtVehicle in action.
The 90-mm gan can fire HEAT (High Explosive
Anti-Tank), HE (High Explosive) and practice
rounds, with the HE round being the most often
used to date. A totdl of 69 rounds of 90-mm
ammunition are carried.It also has two or three
7.62-mm(0.3-in)MGs
started to assemble, The task force was com-
posed of Eiand 4x4 light armoured cars with
90-mm (3,54-in) gnms or 60-mm breech-loaded
mortars, all versions of the Ratei 6x6 infantry
fighting vehicle, Buifel troop carriers (these
have an open roof and also carried the mortar
The Ratel 90 Fire SupportVehicle is fitted with a The Ratel 20 has a two-man tuffet armed with a teams), I40-mm (5.5-in) fleld gnrns towed by
two-man turret armed with the same 90-mm gan French-built GIAT 20-mm F2 cannon. The vehicle their massive SAMIL 6x6 trucks, and large
as fitted to the Eland 90 (4x4) armoured car, which carries so. me 1200 rounds ol South African-made numbers of SAMIL 4x4 and 6x6 trucks car-
r's a/so usedby the South African Army. ammunition in addition to its crew of I 1. rying the essential supplies (ammunition, fuel
and food) reguired by forces operating away
the name 'Sceptic', were both military and poli- South of Chifufua there were a further two from their main base.
tical, The military aim was to wipe out SWAPO SWAPO complexes at Mulola and Chitumba, The task force finally moved off towards the
bases and gnrerrillas, and to capture or destroy with a third but smaller base to the east of border and spent the night near Eenhana, and
as much ammunition, food and other equip- Ionde. at 07.00 on the next morning headed north
ment as possible; the politicai aims were to The final South African plan called for the across the border. The terrain reduced the
improve the confidence of the peopie of South 54th Battalion and two companies of the 32nd speed to that of the slowest vehicies, normally
West Aftica and the defence forces, while des- Battalion, plus a parachute company and sup- the 4x4 trucks, the Elands and the SAMILs
troying the confidence of SWAPO and its Com- porting unts, to advance from the east. The towing the 140-mm (5.5-in) gmns, and soon the
munist backers. The South African high com- main force would consist of three battle groups, task force started to fall behind scheduie. The
mand in Pretoria made it clear that no Angolan whichwor:ld advance northwards from Eenha- iandscape in southern Angola is ieahrreless
army units were to be engaged unless these na: the 53rd Battle Group would then srving and navlgation is very difficult even under ideal
attacked South A.frican units. It was originally west to attack Chitumba, the 10th Battle Group conditions, and on more than one occasion the
expected that the operation would start late in would continue north and then swing west to task force had to be redirected by liqht aircraft
July, but as more information on the intentions attack Muola, while the 6lst Battle Group would as it was heading the wrong way.
and positions of SWAPO units came in the date continue north and hit Chifufua and then con-
was advanced. tinue north before swinging rou:rd to the south Combinedattack
again to attack londe, which for this operqtion In the end the lost time was made up, and all
SWAPO command was given the codename Water Craft. units reached their individual positions in time
The SWAPO command centre for the whole Although the main target was only 180 }on (l 12 for the main attack which was to take place on
area was near Chifi:fua and commonly larown miles) from the border, the achral distance I 0 june, although it later transpired that some of
as Smokeshell by the planning staff, this being travelled by the units once they reached the the units were not in fact in the correct posi-
about I80 I{n (112 miles) inside Angola. The border was some 260 lcn (162 miles) as the tions. The basic idea was that combat teams
original SWAPO bases were well laid out and terrain was bad. In addition, all the units had to would be allocated certain of the complexes to
easily identified from the air and in 1978 had travel some distance before they even attack and a{lerwards form up again to attack
proved easy to destroy with air and artillery reached the border. Ionde. Before the attack by the Ratels,
strikes. SWAPO had soon learned of its earlier Throughout May the variow units carried out Smokeshell was to be attacked from 08.00 to
mistakes and Chifufua was spread out over an intensive training, not only in zuch things as fire about 11.00 by waves of Dassault Mirage, BAe
areaof 40to 50 krn2 (I5.4 to 19.3 sqmiles), allthe co-ordination and tactics but also in the recov- Canberra and BAe Buccaneer aircraft of the
buildings being underground; there were not ery ofvehicles that had become bogged down South African air force, followed by a pounding
even any parade grounds. In ail there were rn the sand. The latter training was to come in by four l40-mm (5.5-in) gn:ns for another hour.
more than a dozen sub-bases within the area, very useflrl in the following month. Leading The Ratel 20s and Ratel 60s had been used in
each of them holding anything from 20 to I50 elements started to move out on 7 June, and combat before, but the Ratel 90, basically a
gnrerrillas; the whole area held about 800 men. early on the following day the mdn task force Ratel with the same hrrret and 90-mm (3.54-in)
gnrn of the Eland armoured car, was being used
for the first time and proved to be highly suc-
cessfi:l as it could be deployed in both the
anti-tank and f,re-support roies, Each Ratei
charged into the attack flring at anything that
moved, its infantry remaining embarked to en-
gage the SWAPO gnrerrillas with their 7.62-mm
(0.3-in) assault rifles through the firing ports in
the Ratel's sides. At least one trooper had his
weapon smashed to pieces as his Ratel
ploughed through the dense bush, Some troops
opened up the roof hatches to enable them to
fire dorm into the SWAPO trenches. The air
was thick with the thump from the 90-mm (3.54-
in) guns and bursts of 20-mm and 7.62-mm (0.3-
in) fire. Platoon 2 was tasked to clear a field in
which there was knovrrn to be a 14.5-mm (0.57-
in) ZPU-t anti-aircraft gnrn used in both this and
the ground roles. However, as the Ratels
attacked in line ahead icw gn:ns opened up on

Left: The Ratel intanEy frghting vehicle is


provided with fuing ports and vision blocks in the
sides of the trcop compartment, and these are
used during sweeps through guerrilla camps. In
sorne cases, fi owever, the intanW have to
dismount and fight on foot,
Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicle in Action

the Ratels, one of them a twin 23-mm ZU-23


anti-aircraft gn:n. At the end of the charge there
remained only one Ratel, the one that knocked
out the flrst l4.5-mm (0.57-in) weapon. The
second Ratel almost made it, but was finally
shot up by the seeond 14.5-mm (0.57-in)
weapon whose armour-piercing rounds pene-
tated the rear of the vehicle, where a gnenade
went ofi and started a chain reaction in the
other ammunition. One man was killed instant-
ly, more being killed as they quickly left the
vehicle. The third Ratel was hit by the 23-mm
weapon and swung out of control with the driv-
er dead at his controls. The fourth Ratel suc-
cessfuiiy lorocked out a l4.5-mm (0. 57-mm) qun
but was then engaged by the 23-mm weapon
which ripped the vehicle apart, killing almost
haif the crew. The suwivors quickly removed
their wounded comrades from the Ratels and J
set up defensive positions until other units
could come to their aid. Ratels from other sec-
tions had become stuck as they fell through the
roofs of the SWAPO underground bunkers and
often ihe infantry had to dismount from their
vehicies to winkle out the defenders one by
one. At the end of the operation all of the Ratels
retumed to South West A-Aica, even the one
which caught fire when the ammunition went
off This vehicle was a burnt-out huik, and in the
end the mechanics cut the Ratel in half and
brought it back in two pieces as it is the policy
of ihe South African defence forces to ieave
nothiirg behind at all, Many Ratels broke axles
(especially the front ones) while others had
engines and transmissions replaced in the
field. Some lighter vehicles were even re-
pairedwhile on tow as no men could be spared
to gnrard vehicles left behind.
Above and below: The Ratel commandvehicle is
fitted with a two- m an manually- operated turret
armedwith a 12.7-mm(0.5-in)M2 HB Browning
and a 7 .62-mm (0 .3-in) machin*gan. The
commander and grunner each have a raised cupola
which give good all-round observation. Thk
model has a nine-metn crew consisting of a driver,
commander, grunner and six command-post staff.
I nternally it h as exfensjye com munications
equipment, intercom, Iighting and map boards.

r- --= =-
www
Modern Wheeled Armoured Persorurel Carriers

1
I
j

A.bove: South African infantr@en mount their Ratel


(6x 6) infantry fighting vehicte. The vehicle has
been desrgned by Sandock-Austral to meet very
demanding requirements, including an
operationalrangeof 1000 kn(62/ miles) and
ex ce lle nt cr o s s - cou nfi m obility.
IE ff;;drrtpanzer I armorued personnel carrier
In the mid-1960s the West German
army decided to develoP a complete
new range of vehucies sharing manY
common components; the range in-
cluded 4x4, 6x6 and Bx8 trucks, an
8x8 armotred reconnaissance vehi-
cle and 4x4 and 6x6 armoured Per-
sonnel carriers. The B x 8 armoured re-
connaissance vehicle flnally emerged
as the Luchs, of which 408 were buiit
betvueen 1975 and 1978. Inthe end only
the 6x6 armoured personnel carrier
entered production as the Transport-
panzer L In i977 ThYssen Henschel
was awarded a production contract for
996 vehicles, the first of which was I

completed in 1979. The 4x4 was then


developed into the APE amPhibiou I
engineer reconnaissance vehicle by
EWK, but this was never placed in pro-
duction. In I9B3 Venezuela ordered
about I0 Transportpanzer vehicles t
fitted with a 12.7-mm (0.5-in) and a i

?.62-mm (0,3-in) machine-Qnrn, and


these were delivered bY late 1983'
When rued as an armouled Person-
nel carrier the TYansportpanzer can
carry t0 fr:Ily equipped troops in addi-
tion to the commander and driver. In
the West German army, however, the
TYansportpanzer is normally used for
more specialized roles, The NBC re-
connaissance vehicle, ofwhich 140 are
being built, is fitted with NBC detec-
tion equrpment, and devices for taking
soil samples and for marking the
grround. The engdneers have 220 vehi-
cles which they use for carrylng mines
and demolition equipment about the Above : Thyssen-H enschel of Kassel
battlefield. The electronic warfare are now building 996
version is the TPz-l Eloka and has a Transportpanzer I (6 x 6) Fuchs
large number ofantennae on the roof amphibious vehicles for theWest
and a generator to provide sufficient German army, which will be used in
power to run the equiPment The a wide range of roles including that
supply units have 220 vehicles to supp- of NBC reconnaissance vehicle, load
ly forward units with ammunition and c arr ier and engineer ve hicle.
other essential supplies, and this mod-
el can also be used as a forward ambu-
lance carrying up to four stretcher pa- Right: The Transportpanzer I is fully
tients. The radar carrier has a MSIT amphibious, being drtven through
battlefield suwelllance radar mounted waieratupto 10.5 kn/h(6.5 mPh)bY
on a hydraulic arm which is rajsed twinpropellers.
above the roofofthe vehicle, andthis
can be operated up to 30 m (98 ft) tom
the vehiCle by remote control There is with the engine immediately behind
also a command and control model them on the left and the troop compart-
ment at the rear; a small aisle connects night-vision eguipment. Steering is Combatweight: 17000 kg(37,479 Ib)
with extensive communications equip- Powe4)lant: one Mercedes-Beru OM
ment and a generator at the rear. The the tont and rear compartments. The power assisted on the front two axles.
latter has seats dovrrn each side, and For the export market awider range 402A V-B diesel developing 320 hP
West German army vehicles are nor- (239 kW)
mallv armed wrth a 7,62-mm (0.3-tn) these seats can be quickly folded to of variants is ofered, zuch as anti-tank
allow carqo to be carried. The com- vehicles wrth HOT, TOW or MILAN Dimensioru: lengrth 6.76 m (22 ft 2. I in);
machine-gun above the commander's width2.98 m(9 ft9,3 in); heightwithout
position but other weapons can be partment f,as hvo doors in the rear, roof ATGWs, mortar carriers, a recovery
iratches and three vision blocks The vehicle and even an infantry flghting armament 2,30 m (7 ft 6.5 in)
fitted on the roofofthe troop compart- Performance: maximum road speed
ment, including a 20-mm cannon TYansportpanzer is fully amphibious' vehicle with flring ports and a turet-
beingL propelled in the water by two mounted 25-mm cannon. 105 lcn/tr(65 mph); maximumrange
Mounted on the Ieft side of the hull is a 800 kn(497 miles); fording
bank of six smoke dischargers firing nrooellers at the rear of the hull for a
inaxmum water speed of I0 Slcn/tt Specification amphibious; Qrradient 70 per cent;
forwards,
The commander and driver are sea- -an All West German vehicles
(6.5 mph). Trarsportpanzer I trench i.6 m(5 ft3 in)
ted at the ftont of the TYansportpanzer irave NBC system and Passive Crew:2+ I0

G il"d; armoured personnel carrier


infantrymen, The driver is seated at thee doors, one in each side and one
Fotlowrng the success of the UR-416 from Thyssen Herschel and 186 SIB-
armoured personnel carrier, Thyssen MAS 6x6 vehicles from Bel$um the ftont leftwith the commander to his in the rear. The infantry sit on indi-
The Condor has an all-welded steei rear, each having a single-piece hatch vidual seats and can use their weapons
Henschel decided to develoP a new ftom within the vehicle via firing ports
vehicle with improved armour protec- hull which provides the crew with pro- cover that opens to the rear, The driver
tection ftom small arms fire and sheil has excellent vlsion to his front and and/or vision blocks. The matn arrna-
tion, greater speed and range, in- ment installation is normally in the cen-
creased load-carrying capability' fully splinters. Wherever possible standard sides through large builet-proof win-
automotrve components (such as the dows. In the combat area these would tre of the hr-rll, and can range from a
amohibious oerfotmance and able to turet with one or twin 7.62-mm (0 3 in)
engine and transmission) are taken normally be covered by quickly erect-
-oirnt heavrer armament installations. from commercial sources to keeP able armoured shutters, forward machine-gnrns right uP to a Power-
the first prototype of this vehicle, cal- operated turret with a 20-mm cannon.
led the Cbndor, was completed tn 1978 costs to a minimum, The Condor has a observation then being maintained via
three-man crew consisting olthe com- a roof-mounted periscope, The engine For the antr-tank role the vehicle has
and an imtial sale was soon made to already been fitted, for trials pwposes'
Urugnray. In 1981 Malaysia placedits mander, who would normally dismount compartment is to the dght of the driv-
-ever
wrth the troops, the gnrnner and the er, and the troop compartment at the with ttie Euromissile HOT fturet with
Iargest order for armoured vehi- four ATGWs in the readY-to-launch
clei when 459 Condors were ordered driver. and calries nine fr-rlly equipped rear, Entry to the Jatter is eflected via
T hyssen H enschel C ondor
Left : A
(4x4) armoured personnel carrier
with a Rheinmetall TUR- I one-man
turret armed with twin 7 .62-mm (0 .3-
in) machine-gruns. I n I 98 I M alaysia
ordereda totalof4S0 Condors, and
all of these have now been delivered.
The vehicle is fully amphibious.

Right: A Thyssen Henschel Condor


(4 x 4)armoured personnel carrier
fittedwith a one-man turret armed
with a 20-mm cannon and co-axial
7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine-gan. In
addition to its three-man crew of
commander, wnner and driver it
can also carry 1 2 fully-equipped
troops and their supp&'es.

position, additional missiles being car- le rear-hull propeller at a speed of although the Condor has excellent 3524 6-cylinder dresel der-eloc:-;
red in the hull. When fitted with a one- B kn/tr
(5 mph); before the velucle en- amphibiors capability, like most other 168 hp (125 kW)
:rlan turet accommodating a 20-mm ters the water a tnm vane is erected at vehicles it sometimes needs assist- Dimensions:length6,05 m (19 i
cannon and a 7,62-mm (0.3-in) the front of the hull and the bilge aace rn order to ieave a river when the I0,2 in); width2,47 m(8 ft l'Ztn, :.='.::.-
machine-gnrn, totals of 220 rounds of' pumps are switched on. The Condor barks are very steep, wrthout armament 2. I0 m (6 ft 10 I :-.
20-mm and 50 rounds of 7.62-mm (0,3- can be equipped with a wide range of Performance: maxrmum road spee:
,n) ready-use ammunition are carrted, optional equipment such as passive 100 knih(62 mph); ma:omumrar:ge
lhe turret can also be fitted with night-vrsron devrces, an NBC and/or Specification 900 ]<rn (559 miles); fording
smoke-dischargers or grenade- air-conditiomng system, various inter- Condor amphibious; crradlent 60 per ceni
iaunchers on each side. coms and radios, and a winch. The last Crew:3+9 vertical obstacle 0.55 m ( i ft 9.7rn)
The Condor is fully amphibious, is suggested as standard equipment Cornbat weight: 12000 kq (26,455 lb) trench not applicable
:eing propelled in the water by a sing- for many parts of the world, for Powerplant: one Daimler-Benz OM

E Ui:+iH armowed personnel


The Daimier-Benz Unimog 4x4 was
ieveloped orignnally as a civrlian vehi-
:le in the period alter Worid War II
rrd soon established an exceilent
:eputation for rts cross-country capabi-
::es,. Development has continued, and
-ie Unmog range of trucks, with typic-
:r payloads of one to four tonnes, is
::day used by many armed forces
-ound the world, including those of
-r:Eentina, West Crermany, New Zea-
;::C and Australia to name but a few,
in the early I960s Rheinstahl Mas-
:::nenbau (now part of the Thyssen
;::up) saw that there was a consider-
-:e overseas market for an armoured
;e:sonnel carrier based on the chassis
:: :he Unimog 4x4 fuck, and the first
,trR-416 prototype was completed in
-$5, Production got under way four
;::rs later. By l9B4 almost I,000 vehl-
:.=s had been completed, with sales
:.de to countries in Black Africa,
l,::tr Africa, South and Central Amer-
;r= a-nd the Far East, as well as to some
-;:pean counfies. European oper-
:r:- deploy the type mainly irr airport complete safety, The UR-416 has nro and a complete set of tools, an ambu- Above: Thyssen M asc hinen hau
:a:cl and riot control, while other roofhatches, the forward one normally ialce, and a command vehicle with UR-416 armoured personnel carrier
:- -sies use them for reconnaissance being fitted with a 7.62-mm (0,3-in) extensive communicatiors equipment.
-:-i-rj,relltroops,
as their desigmed roles of car- machine-gnrn that can also be pro- It was also proposed that the UR-4I6
The UR-416 is a relatively vided with a shield. could be fitted with a recoilless rtfle or
::pensive vehicle and is simple to As with most vehicles of this type, anti-tank guided missiles for use in the
:e-::a:n and operate. Spare parts are the UR-4I6 can be fltted with a wrde anti-tank roles, but as far as is knovrn
" -: problem as the chassis is identic- range of optional equrpment such as a neither of these were placed in pro-
. ::a rhat of the Mercedes-Benz Uni- rear-mounted winch with a capacity of duction,
::,; ljght truck. 5000 kg (tt,023 Ib), passive or active
-:e all-welded hr:ll is I mm (0,35 in) rught-vision eguipment, an obstacle- Specification
-r.:< aad provides the crew with pro- clearing blade at the front of the hull, a uR-416
,::l:l from small arms fire and shell public address system, flashing lights, Crew:2+8
ii::::ers. The commander and driver a heater, a fLe extingnrisher, an air- Combatweight: 7600 kg (i6,755 ]b)
::= at the front wrth the eight conditioninq system and run-flat tyres Powerpliant: one Daimler-Benz OM 352
i**;-.eated
equipped troops to their rear, In addition to the normal piltle- 6-cylinder dresel developing I20 hp
ri- C6viir-each side facing ouhvards mounted 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine- (89 kW)
ii: :qo at the rear facing the rear. gun, other armament installations that Dimensions: length 5,21 m (I7 ft I in);
i:--; ports are provided in the hull can be fitted include a turret with one wrdth2.30 m(7 ft6.5 in); heightvnthout
r.:* ::rd rear to allow the troops to fire or two 62-mm (0. 3-in) machine-gn:ns,
7. armament 2,225 m (7 ft 3.6 in)
r,+ - ::]es from inside the vehicle, and a hrret with a 20-mm cannon' or a spe- Performance: maximum road speed The Thyssen M ascfiinen ba u ilR-* j 5
: :::-::edtliesestandardportscanbe cial cupola for use in intemal security 85 }cn/h (53 mph); maximum range 600 armoured personne/ carr'er ts baseq
r::,::ed by sphencal firing ports and roles with vision devices and the abil- to 700 kn
(373 to 435 miles); fording on lfie ciassis of tfieMercedes-8en-r
rr ::servation block whiCh allows ity to mount a rifle to enqacle snipers 1,4 m (4 ft 7 in); gradient 75 per cent; U nimog (4 x 4) vehicle, w hich Las
+::: ri'an to fire his rifle or sub- More specialized versions include a verticalobstacle 0,55 m (I ft 9,7 in); ex cep tion al ct o s s - ca unw n a p].E ry
:e::::e gn:ri ftom mthin the vetucle in repair vehicle complete v/ith jib crane trench not applicable and is easy to maintain and oprate
Post-wctr Soviet APC Development pressure regrulator with external air lines. By lions, but from about 1960 it started to be re-
Soviet military doctrine has long held to
then the latter was fairly common, having been placed by the BTR-60P 8x8 series of armoured
the view that the offensive holds the key
fitted to some American DUKW amphibious personnei carriers although the first models,
/o success rh battle. In order for the
6xO vehicles of the World War II period: for with their open-topped troop compartments,
Soviet infantry to maintain contact with had the same disadvantages as the original
road travel the tyres are fully inflated, but for
the armoured spearheads, it becomes the crossing of other types of terrain (for exam- open-topped BTR-152s.
necessary for the troops to be mobile ple sand) air is let out by the driver, who does The BTR-152 saw action with the Egryptian
an dpro tec ted from enemy fire. The not leave his seat, so that more of the tyre is in army in the 1956 Middle East conilict, and more
solution to the problem is the armoured contact with the ground and greater traction is recently has been encountered in some num-
personnel carrier. thereicre available. Once a flrm surface is bers by the South African army during its many
reached the driver then reinflates the tyres, incursions into Angola in pursuit of or search for
Dwing World War il Soviet infantry normally again without leaving his seat. The BTR- I52 has SWAPO gnrerrillas. The BTR-152 was also used
went into action on foot or clinging to the sides firll six-wheel drive, the engine being coupled by the PLO in the l:ebanon, and many were
of tank turrets, which were provided with spe- to a manual gearbox with five forward and one caphrred or destroyed by the Israeli army in
cial grab rails for this purpose. The Soviet los- reverse gear (fifth gear being overdrive) and a the 1982 'Peace for Galilee'operation,
ses in tanks during the early part of the war two-speed transfer case; this has higrh and low The BTR-152 was soon followed by the BTR-
meant that production capacity could not be ranges, the latter being engaged for cross- armoured personnel carrier based on a
40 4 x 4
spared for aimoured personnel carriers. Cana- country travei. shortened GAZ-63 4x4 l.S-tonne truck chassis
dh and the UK shipped 2 500 Universal Carriers
produced at the Gorky Motor Vehicle Plant.
The 1950s The BTR-40 entered service in 195 I, has a crew
to the Soviet Union, while the United States
shipped about 1,000 half-track carriers in va- The BTR-IS2VI was followed by the almost of two and can carry elght fully equlpped men,
rious modeis, although some of these were iost identicat BTR-152V2, which is not fitted with a It has not always been used as an armoured
at sea during transport to the Soviet Union winch but has a central tyre-pressue regrula- personnel carrier, however, and was ofte! em-
The first wheeled armoured personnel car- tion system. The BTR-152V3 was the last model bloyed as a reconnaissance or command and
rier to enter service in the immediate post-war to have an open{opped troop compartment, control vehicle in a manner similar to the
period was the BTR-152 in 1951, although it and is fitted with a front-mounted winch, inter- American M3Ai 4x4 scout car, of which some
probably entered production a year or two nal air lines less prone to damage than the 3,300 were shipped to the Soviet Union by the
beflcre this date. This BTR-152 was essentially external ones, and infra-red driving lielhts AI United States during World War IL In the re-
the chassis of the ZIL-151 6x6 Z.S{onne truck these models are normally armed on the for- connaissance role the BTR-40 was replaced by
chassis and powered by aZII'-IZ| six-cylinder ward part of the troop compartment with a the BRDM-l 4x4 amphibious vehicle from the
petrol engine developing 92 hp (68.6 kMI) at pintle-mounted 7,62-mm (0. 3-in) machine-gun late i950s, and today the type is no longer used
2,600 rpm. l,ater production BTR- I 52s (from the with I 250 rounds of ammunition. This gun can by any front-line Soviet unit. Most BTR- Os
BTR-I52VI on) were based on the improved be traversed only 45" Ieft and rlght, and the were builtwith an opentopped crew compart-
ZLL-IIZ 6x6 2.S{onne truck chassis, which had gunner is provided wlth no protection. In 196i ment but later production vehicles, designated
many improvements including a more pow.er- the much improved BTR-152K appeared: this is BTR-4OB, are fitted with overhead armour pro-
ful six-cylinder petrol engine developing simiiar to the BTR-i52V3 but has i:11 overhead tection. The BTR-40 is not fitted with central
I I0 hp (82 kW) at 3,000 rpm. All of the truck cgver for the troop compartment and therefore tyre-pressure regmlation and, like the BIB lqa'
chassis were built at the Likhachev Motor ollers protection against overhead shell frag- ii noi fitted with an NBC system. The BTR-4OA
Vehicle Plant in Moscow, the armoured body ments and mortar spiinters. Two basic variants is a self-propelled antiaircraft vehicle and has
being fitted at another Plant, were fielded by the Soviet Union, namely the the same twin 14.S-mm (0.57-mm)machine-gnrn
In appearance the BTR- 152 was similar to the BTR- I52U command vehicle with a much higrh- turret as the BTR-152A, while the BTR-40kh is a
half{racks of World War II, with the engine at er roof to allow the command stafl to work special chemical reconnaissance vehlcle
the front, driver and commander in the centre upright, and the BTR- 152A anti-aircraft vehicle. which dispenses pennants into the ground to
and the troop compartment at the rear. The last The iatter has a hrrret armed with twin 14.5-mm mark clear lanes through contaminated areas.
entered ths vehicle via twin doors in the hul] (0.57-in) machine-gnus with manuai traverse The Egryptians have buitt a vehicle similar to
rear, which normally also carried the spare and etevation. A number of countries around the BTR-40 called the Walid, and this has been
wheel; firing ports were provided in the sides the world have modified the BTR-152 to meet exported to some countries in the Middle East'
and rear of the troop compartment. their ovrn requirements. The Soviets realized the shortcomings of the
Until the introduction of the BTR-SoP firli- BTR- 152 6 x 6 armoured personnel carrier at an
The second model, based on the improved
chassis, was the BTR-lSzVl. This had a front- tracked armoured personnel carrier in the late early stage and soon started to deve)op a new
mounted winch (for self-recovery or for re- 1950s, the BTR- I52 famrly was the backbone of carrier which finally emerged in 196l as the
covering other vehicles) and a central tyre- the Soviet armoured personnel carrier batta- BTR-60P 8 x 8 vehicle, Compared with the BTR-
152 this has a higher road speed and better
cross-country mobility, and is fitlly amphibious'
being propelled in the water by a single water-
jet at the hull rear which provides a water
speed of 10kr/h (6.21 mph). Its main draw-
back was stili its open-topped crew compart-
ment, which makes the crew very vulnerable
The troop compartment is provided with firing
ports and side doors, and up to three (normally
bne i2.7-mm/0,5in and two 762-mm/03-in)
machine-gnrns can be fitted to provide sup-
piessive fire, An interesting feature of the BTR-
60P series is that it is powered by two petrol
engines, each of which drives four wheels on
one side of the vehtcie,
The original BTR-60P was soon followed by
the BTR-60PA which has a firlly enclosed troop
compa?tment and is normally armed with a
roof-mounted 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine-gmn in
A Soviet BTR- I 52 6 x6) armowed personnel
carrier, used by thellnitedStatesArmy for training
purposes. The main drawback of this vehicle was
its fack of cross-country mobility and open-topped
huII, which made the troops very vulnerable to
overhead shell bursts. It is still used by many
countries.

1 154
The BTR-40 (4x4) k essentially a
short-wheelbase version of the
GAZ-63 kuck fitted with an
annoured body. In addition to being
used as an arm oured troop carrier it
was also employed as a command
and reconnaissan ce vehicle; there is
also an anti-aircraft model with twin
I 4. 5 -mm (0. 57 -in) m achine-guns,
called theBTR-40A.

an unprotected mount. The next model to the three firlng ports in each side of the vehicle. prove the firepower of the vehicles agaimt the
appear was the BTR-60P8, which is almost On the BTR-60P8 the infantry left the vehicle Afghan rebels some vehicies have been f,*eci
identical to the BTR-60PA but has a one-man via the roof hatches or a single hatch in the side with a 30-mm automatic grenade{auncher cn
maaually-operated huret armed with a i4.5- of the hu]l behveen and well above the second the hrrret rool although one member of the
mm (0.57-in) and a 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine- and thud axles. This meant that they were ex- crew has to leave the safety of the hull to fire
gn:n. This hrrret is identical to that fitted to the posed to small arms fire for longer than neces- this weapon.
BRDM-2 4x4 amphibious scout car and the sary, and on the BTR-70 the two hatches in the Front-line Soviet armoured and motorized
Czech 0T-64 Model C 8x8 armoured person- roof are supplemented by a door in the lower divisions currently use the fi:ll-tracked BMP-1.
nel carrier, which is also used by Poland in- part of the hu-ll behveen the second and third with its excellent mobility, firepower and pro-
stead of the Soviet vehicle, which the Poies axles. The BTR-70 has a firll range of night- tection, and also the BTR-60 and BTR-70. The
consider to have a number of drawbacks. vision equipment and an NBC system. Iatter have inferior firepower and armour pro-
There are a number of variants of the BTR-60 Both the BTR-60 and BTR-70 have been used tection to the BMP- I, but have grreater stlate@c
series including the BTR-60PU command vehi- in Afghanistan, where their thin armour has mobility and are much cheaper to build, maur-
cle and the BTR-60PB forward air control vehi- proved to be very vulnerable to heavy tain and operate than their tracked counter-
cle, The former is a BTR-60P or BTR-60P4 fitted machine-gn:n fire, as have the wheels. To im- part.
with extensive communications equipment,
qenerator and radio antennae, while the latter
has the turret with the armament removed and
the hole filled in with a Plexiglas observation
window, As the basic BTR-60 series normally
has only two batteries, an auxiliary generator is
usually carried to provide sufficient power for
the additionai commu:ications equipment, All
members of the BTR-60 series have a central
tyre-pressure regulation system, front-
mounted winch with a capacity of 4500 kgt
(9921 Ib) and infra-red night vision equipment
ior the corffnander and driver. The BTR-60
series has been exported to some 30 cou::tries
and its excellent amphibious capability is such
lhat it is also used by the Soviet Marines. Roma-
rua builds a similar vehicle called the TAB-72.
The 1980s
The latest Soviet wheeled armoured person-
nel carrier is the BTR-70, which is very similar
:o the earlier BTR-60PB and even has the same
iurret. The original BTR-60 series vehicles are
powered by two GAZ-498 six-cylinder inline
petroi engines each developing 90 hp (67 kW),
aad though it had been expected that the new
vehicle would be powered by diesel engines,
both to reduce the risk of fire and to extend the Above: TWo East German BTR-60Ps swim ashore Below : The fir s t model of the BTR - 60 s erie s to e n ter
cperational range of the vehicle, recent in- from a landing craft followed by a BRDM- I (4x4) service was the BTR-60P, which had an open-
iormation has shown that the BTR-70 is pow- amphibious scout car. In some East German and topped troop comparfunent and was notmally
Soviet units the BTR-60 series have been replaced armed with one 1 2.7-mm (0.5-in) and two 7.62 - mm
ered by tvvo ZMZ-4905 petrol engines each by the improved BTR-70 (8 x8) vehicle. (0.3-in) machine-gruns on pintle mounts.
developing ilShp (86kW). Because of the
higher weight of vehicle, performance is iden-
tical to that of the BTR-60. The BTR-60PB can
carry 14 frrlly equrpped infantry plus its hvo-
man crew, aithough normally only eight men
are carried. These troops are seated on bench
seats down each side and rear of the troop
compartment with hvo on seats to the rear of
-fte commander and driver at the front of the
vehicle. This made it almost impossible for the
roops to use the firing ports in the sides of the
:roop compartment. On the more recent BTR-
T0 a large bench seat is fitted in the centre of
::re koop compartment for six men (three on
each side facing outurards), and these can use
E ffilfr-i?b armoured personnel carrier
Using company money, Thyssen Mas- The TM 170 has a hull of all-welded
chinenbau of Witten-Annen has de- steel construction with the engine at
veloped three light armoured person- the very front ofthe hull and coupled to
nel carriers ofthe wheeled variety, all a manual gearbox with four forward
of them using proven and common and one reverse gear, For road use the
commercial components to keep pro- driver would normally select 4x2
curement and operating costs to an (rear wheels only) drive, while for
absolute minimum, The vehicles are cross country the front axles would also
the TM 170, TM I25 and the TM 90, The be enqaqed for 4x4 (all wheel) drle,
largest member of the family is the TM The commander and driver have bul-
170, which has a tlvo-man crew and let-proof windows to their front, and in
can carry l0 fully equipped infantry- combat these are covered by
men, although more often than not it is armoured shutters, obsewation then
r.rsed in the internal security role for the being obtained through roof-mounted
rapid and safe transport of riot squads periscopes, An entry door is provided
to spots at which they are needed. in each side of the hull and rear, and
In the early 1960s Bussing and Hens- firing ports and./or vision blocks en-
chel in West Germany built some 600 able the troops or police to aim thelr
of the Swiss-desigmed MOWAG MR B weapons safely from tnside the veht-
series of4x4 armoured personnel car- cle, The basic vehicle is fully amphr
riers for the Federal German border bious, being propelled in the water by
police, although at a later date some of its wheels; before the vehicle enters
these were transferred to the state the wdter a trim vane is erected at the
police, By the early 1980s it had been ftont of the huil, For increased water the TM I70, has a crew of hvo and can A T hyssen M aschinenbau TM I 70
decided to start replacing this old speed the TM 170 can be fitted with carry 10 fully equipped men, The TM (4x4) armoured personnel carrier
vehicle with a more modern type, and waterjets, which give a maximum 90 is an armoured patrol vehicle rather with the hatches over thewindscreen
after lookrng at the various vehicles on speed of 9 lcn/h (5,6 mph). A variety of than an armoured personnel carrier in the lowered position. The TM I 70
offer, the border police and state armament stations can be fitted on the and has a crew of four, rncluding the ias been se/ected by the West
police selected the TM 170 under the roof rncluding turret- or pintle- driver, German Border Guard and State
designation SW4, the SWI being the mounted 7,62-mm (0,3-in) machine- Police to replace the old SW I and
basrc MR 8, the SWZ being the same gllns or even 2O-mm cannon. Special- Specification SW2vehicles.
vehicle unth a twret-mounted 20-mm ized equrpment for the ilot-control role TM I7O
cannon and the SW3 an armoured ver- includes a hydraulically-operated doz- Crew:2+ 12 (7 ft 3,4 rn)
sron of the Mercedes-Benz light jeep er blade at the front of the huil (for Gombat weight: 9500 kq (20,944 ib) Performance: maxmum road speed
type vehicle, At Ieast 250 examples of clearing street barrtcades and Powerplant: one Darnler-Benz OM 352 100 lan/h(62 mph); ma:amumrange
the SW4 are required, although fund- pushing cars and other obstacles out of supercharged dresel developLng 670 lcn (416 miles); fordtng
ing problems have meant that the ini- the way) and a special obsewation 168 hp (125 kMD amphibious; eradient 80 per cent;
tial order was for only 87 vehtcles, the cupola, Dimensions: length 6 10 m (20 ft 0 tn); verticalobstacle0.S m(I ft7,7 in);
first of these being delivered in 1983. The TM 125 is slightly smaller than width2.45 m(8 ft 0.5 r.n); heishtz.zzm trench not applicable

ffi HHii+-rv armoured personnel carrier


In the I960s Hungary developed the
FUG 4x4 amphibious scout car, which
it uses in place of the Soviet BRDM
vehicie. Further development re-
sulted in a vehicle which was seen in
the mid-1960s and called the FUG-66
or FIJG?0, It was orignnally thought
that this was the replacement for the
original FUG and that it would be used
in place of the Soviet BRDM-2 4x4
amphibious scout car, After some time
it was discovered that the new vehicie
was in reality called the PSZH-IV and
that its role was that of a personnel
carrier, not an amphibious scout vehi-
cle,
The hull of the PSZH-IV is of all-
welded steei construction with a max-
imum thickness of 14 mm (0,55 in). The
commander and driver are seated at
the front of the vehicle, each being
provided to his front with a windscreen
that can be quickly covered by an
armoured shutter mth an integrral peri-
scope, Above their position is a single- the hull; each door is in tvvo parts, up- an NBC system and infra-red ntght- When the PSZH-IV was first seen in
piece roof hatch and to each side ts a per and lower, and opens towards the vision equpment for the grunner and the early 1 9 60 s iE role was believed
vrsion block. Mounted in the centre of front of the vehicle, The engnne, which commander. to be that of a reconnarssance
the roof is a one-man turet armedwith is the same as that installed in the ear- There are a number ofvariants ofthe vehicle, but it w as later dbcovered
a 14.5-mm (0,57-in) KPVT machine- her FUG amphibious scout car, is PSZHIV including hvo command vehi- that it was in fact an armoured
gun with a 7,62-mm (0,3-in) PKT mounted at the rear of the hull. The cles (one wlth and the otherwrthout the pers onnel c arr ier and c arried sk
machine-gun mounted co-axially to the PSZH-IV is fully amphibious, being turret), an ambulance model (although troops in addition to its three-man
left, Both weapons have an elevation of propelled in the water at a sPeed of loadinE of stretchers cannot be consi- crew conskting of a commander,
+30'and a depresslon of -5o, turret 9krn/h (5,6mph) by two wate{ets at dered to be an easy occupation) and gunner and driver.
traverse being 360', Totals of 500 the rear of the hull. Before the vehicle an NBC reconnaissance vehrcie. The
rounds of 14.S-mm (0,57-in) and 2,000 enters the water the bilge pumps are Iast is probably provided with equip- developing 100 hp (74.57 kW)
rounds of 7.62-mm (0,3-in) ammunition swrtched on and a trim vane is erected ment to detect NBC agents and then Dimensions:length5,70 m (18 ft8.4 in);
are carried. The turret is of Hungarian at the front of the hull (when not re- drop pennants into the grround to mark wrdth 2.50 m (B ft 2,4 in); heisht 2.30 m
desigm and is not the same as that fitted qurred the latter is stowed on the glacjs a path though the contaminated area, (7ft7in)
to the Soviet BRDM-2 amphibious plate). l,ike most Warsaw Pact vehi- Performance: maxmum road sPeed
scout car and a number of BTR-60 and cles developed in recent years, the Specification B0 lcn/h (50 mph); maximumrange
0T-64 series ol armoured personnel PSZH-IV is fitted wrth a central tyre- PSZH-w 500 lcn (3I I miles); fording
carriers. presswe regnllation system (allowingt Crew:3*6 amphibious; grradient 60 per cent;
The troops enter and leave the the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to Combat weight: 7500 ks ( 16,535 Ib) verticalobstacle0.4 m(l ft3,7 in);
PSZH-IV through a door in each side of suit the type of qround beinq crossed), Powerplant: Caspel 4-cyrnder diesel trench0.6 m(1ft il.6 in)
t [in-IS2 armoured. personnel carrier
The Soviet Union did not employ a
racked or wheeled armoured person-
:el carrier dwing World War II, and
rer infantry normally went in on foot or
;rere carried on tanks, The BTR-IS2
,vas flrst seen in public during 1951,
but probably entered servtce several
;ears before thrs, The vehicle consists
basically of a ZIL-ISI truck chassts
rtted with a fi]]ly armoured body, later
production vehicles from the BTR-
-32V1 onwards berng based on the
mproved ZiL-157 truck chassts, From
-he early 1960s it was replaced in front-
Llne Soviet motorized rifle divisions by
'.he BTR-60 series of BxB armoured
personnel carners, which have better
3ross country capabilities, The BTR-
-52 and its variants have been widely
exported by the Soviet Union, and Above: A BTR- I 5 2 (6 x 6) armoured
:ven in 1984 the type remains in ser- personnel carrier fittedwith a
'.ice wrth some 30 countries all over the central tyre pressure rcgulation
,'rorld, and the BTR-152 has seen ac- system that allows the driver to
:cn in the Middle East (with Syria, Iraq adjust tftepressure to suitthe type of
::rd Egrypt), Africa and the Far East. ground being crossed.
The flrst model to enter service was
re BTR-152, and has an open-topped Right: Soviet BTR- I 5 2 (6 x 6)
roop compartment, tn which the 17 armoured personnel carriers being
:oops sit on bench type seats runntng supportedbyT-54 tanks. Until the
:cross the hull. The second model to introduction of the BTR- 6 0 ( I x I )
:rter service was the BTR-IS2VI, armoured personnel carrier in the
;;irich retained the opentopped troop 1960s theBTR-152 was the standard
::mpartment but was fitted with a vehicle of the Soviet motorized rifle
:cnt-mounted winch and a central divisions.
:-,ae-pressure regnrlation system with
::<ternal air lines, The latter system en- sions of the BTR-152 firing ports are PLOi these vehicles had the towed ZU- Specification
iles the driver to adjust the tyre provrded rn the sides and rear of the 23 twrn 23-mm mounted in the rear,
these berng much more effective than
BTR.I52VI
2*
p:essure to suit the type of grround troop compartment, The infantry enter Crew: 17
:erng crossed. The BTR- I52V2 was not andleave the vehrcle via two doors in the 14,S-mm (0 57-in) KPVs, Combat weight: 8950 kg (19,73 I lb)
::ed with a winch, but did have a tyre- the rear of the hull, The first armoured personnel car- Powerplant: one ZIL- I 23 6-cylinder
l:essure reglrlation system, The BTR- The command version is called the rier to be depioyed by the Soviet Un- petroi engnne developing I lO hp
152V3 had winch, infra-red night- BTR-I52U and has a much higher roof ion after World War II was in fact the (82 kW)
'-ron equipment and a central tyre- so the command staff can work while BTR-rl0 4x4 vehicle, which was based Dimensions: length 6,83 m (22 ft 4,9 :::.
;:essrue regulation system with inter- standing; it also has an armoured rool on a modried GAZ-63 truck chassis, width 2,32 m (7 ft 7,3 in); height 2.05 !:-
:.J air lines more robust than those of The anti-aircraft model is the BTR- Thrs cou-ld carry eight troops in addi- (6 ft 8,7 in)
-:-e external system. The main draw- with
152A, which has at its rear a mount tion to its two-man crew and was also Performance: maxtmum road speed
:ack of these versions was the oPen- twin 14,5-mm (0,57-in) KPV heavY used as a reconnaissance vehicle until 75 kn/h (47 mph)i maximumroad
::pped troop compartment, which left machrne-gruns that can be elevated the tntroduciion of the BRDM-I in the range 7BO km (485 miles); fordhg 0 t :-
:e infantry vulnerable to overhead ftom -5o to *B0o with turret traverse 1950s, Both rhe BTR-40 and BTR-152 (2 ft7,5 in); verticalobstacle 0,6 m (l -
::--ell bwsts, This was rectified with the through 360", Durlng the fighting in'the were normaily armed with a pintle- 11,6 in); trench0,69 m(2 ft3,2 tn)
-::oduction of the BTR-152K which l,ebanon in 1982, the Israelt army cap- mounted 7.62-mm (0,3-in) machine-
:-:i fr:-11overhead protectlon, ln all ver- tured a number of BTR-152s from the grun,

n iitn-OOp series armoured personnel carrier


-.--e BTR-152 6x6 armowed personnel
:"::rer introduced into the Soviet army
:'.::ng the 1950s had a number of ma-
:: shortcomings, including poor
-:ss-country mobility (as it was based
::- a truck chassis) and lack of an
::-phibious capability, in the late ##-S = {
-i:lsthe BTR-60P was introduced, ,
=-: *us and later variants have now L
:::jaced almost ail BTR-152s used by
:-i Souet army, in which the BTR-60
:€:-es N normally used by the moto-
.*=i nfle drvisrons while the tank dli-
:-:- have the BMP-I tracked MICVS,
-.-e BTR-60 series has been exported
:: srme 30 countries, and Romania has
;::iuced a modried version under
:: Cesigmation TAB-72, The BTR-60
:-- seen action ln manY Parts of the A BTR-60P8 (8 x 8 ), which has the
;::-C. most tecently in Grenada when the rear, Each engnne drives one side which has a fully enclosed troop com-
: ='r BTR-60PBs were encountered of the vehicle, Power-assisted steering partment and carries a maximum of l6 same turret as fitted to the BRD!,!-2
.---: qurckly destroYed bY United is provrded on the front two axles, troops, althougrh its normal comple- (4x4) scoutcar and the Czech OT-
:---^^ t^-^^^ The flrst model to enter semce was ment is 12. This model ls generally 64C (8x8)vehicle.
l:-e members of the BTR-60 series desiemated BTR-60P, and has an opeh- armed with a prntie-mounted 7.62-mm
Jl fully amphlblous, being prop- topped troop compartment. This car- (0,3-in) machine-gnrn, The BTR-60P8 is
=:= similar to the BTR-60PA but is fltted
=-:: iri the water by a single waterjet ried a total of 16 infantrymen who were
the hull at a speed of seated on bench seats across the huli. with the same one-man manual turret
---:er hthe(6.21
rear of
mph), and have a similar fumament normally consisted of one as instailed on the BRDM-2 4x4 scout
- -c:
.-- -: -nth the commander and driver 12,7-mm (0.5-in) and two 7,62-mm (0,3- car and the Czech OT-64C(1)
.' -j,: lont, troop compartment rn the in) machine-gnrns, This was soon re- armoured personnel carrier, used by
:--:: and the two petrol engines at placed in production by the BTR-60P4, Czechoslovakia and Poland (as the Continuedonpage I160
lGbulConvog
ToaSovietinfantrymansewinginAfghanistan, theprospectolventuringfromthe costing the Sovlet Union a great deal of money,
strongly fortified towns on supply mr'ssions to outlying posts must be uncomfortable. lives and resources and by now, in common
In commonwithmanyunwelcomevisitors over theyears, thehostile receptionfrom with many other 'visitors' to Afghanistan, the
Soviets must be wondering if it is ali worth the
the Afghan hillmen has given the Soviets pause.
effort and cost involved. In the meantime the
convoys from Kabul rumble on and the A.fghan
gnrerrillas continue to wait until the tactical
When the Red Army moved into Afghanistan able for their tracks, so wheeled personnel situation is right for the next attack.
over the Christmas period of 1979 they prob- carriers and trucks have to be used. Thus the
ably expected, Iike many other armed grroups convoys are made up from virtually every type
who have moved into the area, that all would be of Soviet wheeled carrier ranging from the
quiet and peaceful after a few days, that things newest BTR-70 down to BTR-4Os taken without
would soon settie down into a normai routine, compunction from the remaining units of the The BTR-60P8 and BTR-70 (8 x 8) armoured
regnrlar Afghan army. The trucks in convoy personnel carriers are widely used in Afghanistan
and that the locals would accept them and for escorting convoys through areas occupied by
welcome the arrival of ali that the Red fumy Iikewise come from whatever stocks are avail- the Atghan freedom fighters. M any of these have
could bring in its wake. Like all the other arriv- able and vary from the most modern to the been fitted with additional armour, and some even
als over the years they were wrong, very veteran. have an AGS- I 7 automatic grenade'launcher fitted
wrong, for the Afghans have always been im- on top olthe hull to provide suppressive fire
placably hostile to anyone who moves into their Attackfromabove agarhsf suspected gruerrilla positions when the
territory uninvited. Like the British and so many All these vehicles suffer'from one major Soviet air force cannot provide close air support.
others beirre them, the Red Army no doubt drawback, the fact that they are rarely able to
wishes that it had never heard of the place, but carry weapons with high angles of elevation.
it is still there and is having to fight just to The roads and tracks to the outlying Soviet
rnaintain its tenure. Large tracts of territory are locations almost inevitably run through hilly or
still closed to the Soviets by hostile tribesmen, mountainous terrain, and the gnrerrillas usually
who inllict casualties and damage out of all mount their attacks from the hiqhest possible
proportion to their modest numbers. Iocations. The only way to counter this plunging
The Soviets want to stay in Afghanistan for fire is by uspg high-angle weapon mountings,
several reasons, One is that occupation ofthe but on many armoured personnel carrters
country places them one step nearer the Indian these mountings can accommodate litile more
Ocean 'blue water' port and territory they have than machine-gmns and in ambush sltuations
coveted for cenhrries, and another is that the heavier weapons are generally required,
position of Afghanistan places them close to On.some of the open carriers such as the
considerable areas of surrounding nations, so BTR-I52 it is possible to mount heavier
enabling them to eavesdrop electronically on weapons such as anti-aircraft cannon, but by
these neighbours to a much more useful de- their very nature these open vehicles are pro-
grree than is possible from within Soviet bor- ne to the worst depredatiors of the ambushers'
ders. Conseguently the Red Army has estab- fire and the occupants are very exposed to
Iished a number of monitoring stations through- incoming fire. In some of the more restricted
out Afghanistan, This has meant that the Red passes and valleys ambushrng fire can be
Army has had to build, maintain and supply almost vertically dovrmwards, so open vehicles
these stations over a prolonged period, for they are terribly vulnerable. This was soon learned ti#
are often located in remote areas away from when heavy trucks such as the ZIL-135 8x8 &
the main centres of population, were converted for the convoy escort role by v&:
the installation of twin 23-mm cannon on the
Constantdanger Ioad area: the cannon were very effective
Normally such an operation wouid be no weapons but the gmerrillas soon iearned to
problem, but the Afghan gn:errillas make the pick off their crews before they could do too
task an almost impossible one. The Red Army much damage.
has now had to institute the use of heavily Whenever possible, therefore, the Soviets
armed and armoured convoys just to maintain use the fuily enclosed armoured personnel
its links with these outlying locations, and these carriers such as the BTR-60P and the newer
convoys are inevitably a major drain on Soviet BTR-70. Sometimes they are joined by BRDM- i
resources. They are often attacked, very often and BRDM-2 reconnaissance cars but their in-
by small Afghan gmerrilla grroups who fire a few ternal stowage space is very limited and they
s6ots and then vanish into the mountains. At are usuatly confined to the escort role.
times the attacks are made by much Larger The convoys do have one escort vehicle that
giroups, who manage to knock out a truck or the Afghan guerrillas cannot tackie, and this is
even a tank using rockets. Thus'the Soviets the Mil Mi-24'Hind' helicopter. These helicop-
have to guard their convoys as though a large ters are virtually flying tanks, and they are the
attack is expected on every triP, one Soviet weapon that the Afghans fear, The
The actuai composition of these convoys 'Hinds' are heavily armed and armoured, and
varies greatly depending on the distance in- the only way in which the gmerrillas can dam-
volved and the natwe of the supplies being age them is by firing or dropping grenades ."--,.2.-&*4
carried. Most types of supplies make good down on to their rotor arcs from above, but such Most Soviet convoys in Afghanistan are
booty for the gnrerrillas if they can manaQle to methods rarely provide results as the 'Hinds' accompanied by armoured vehicles .,. :.....
usually move much too fast for such chances to sucfi as tanks a nd BTR-60/ BTR-Z1s, whil€
capture a truck, but theirmain aim is to capture overhead cover is provided by stril<e
weapons and ammunition. At even the most be taken. aircraft and helicopters. Many convoys
peaceful of times all rural Afghan males carry So for the foreseeable future convoys will havebeen lost inAfghanistan as their
rifles and ammunition and ln what they regard move along the narrow passes and tracks of occupants seem loth to leave their
as times ofwar, such as the present, they are on AJghanistan from the Red Army's main supply vehicles and close with the Afghan
the look-out for more, so very often arms and base at Kabui to ali the many outstations that the freedom fighters; they seem to prefer to
ammunition are for protection convoyed in Sovlets have established in the face of a hostiie remain in thevehicles until these are
converted armoured personnel carriers. population. They can proceed only in daylig,h! knocked out by machine-gun fire or
R PG -7 an ti- tank we apons.
The Red Army's tracked armoured person- and under air cover supplied by the powerful
nel carriers are of limited use in Afghanistan as 'Hind' helicopters, but are at almost any point
the rough and mountainous terrain is not suit- under threat of attack or ambush. It must all be

I l58
Although theSoviets use aircraft and hehcopters xG truclcs with the
to supply many of their garrisons with food and ti-aircraft gans,
ammunition, the vast majority still has to be theoider
transportecibytrucks,ihicihaveprovedvery ..' .'a,l€ ielt propelleda,gti-
uulnerabletoattackbythegruerrillas.The . .L"r ri/einAlghasie@.
favourite trickis to hit the ffustand lastvehicles in
theconvoy so thattheremainderr'strapped.Som€ x lB butthe
SovielfrucJcslravebeenfittedwith2S-mmZU-23'o g andthe 12.7-
anti-aircraftgansforuseinthegiroundrole. - --' is alsoused by
: r.lK- the 23-mm round
Union inAfghanistan is
of lftelessons tie
'to to learn during their
&t.,e?' work in Vie tn ant near Iy 2 a

.t:

.'g
."ffi
v,{'..
BTR-60P series APC (continued)

to dsmount by climbing though the A BTR-60P8 ( I x I ) armoured


roof hatches. The command version of personnel carrier, powered bY two
the vehicle is called the BTR-60PU and petrol engines,each of which drives
has additionai communicatiors equrp- fourwheelsonone side of the
ment; there is also a forward au control vehicle. When afloat the vehicle is
vehicle, basically the BTR-60PB wtth pr opelled in the w a ter by a single
the armament removed and an water j et mounted in the hull rear.
obsewation wrndow in the forward
part of the turet,
The BTR-60PB is now being re- Powerplant: hvo GAZ-498 6-cylinder
placed in the Soviet Union by the BTR- petrol enelnes each developing 90 hp
70, which is very similar in appearance (67 kW)
and has the same turret, but introduces Dimensibns: length 7,56 m (24 ft 9,6 in);
a slightly more powerful engrne and width2,825 m(9 ft3,2 in); heighttotop
has improved seating and exit ofturret2,3l m (7 ft 6,9 in)
arrangements for the infantry, the roof Performance: maxrmum road sPeed
hatches being supplemented bY a B0 km/h (50 mph); maxmum road
small door in the lower part of the hull range 500 krn (3I I miles); fording
between the second and third road amphibious; grradient 60 per cent;
wheels. The BTR-70 has seen action in verticalobstacleO,4 m(l ft3,7 in):
Afghanistan, where a number have trench2,0 m(6 ft7 in)
been fitted with a 30-mm gnenade-
launcher on the roof,
A BTR -60P8 (8 x 8 ) armoured
Specification personnel carrier swims ashore from
8TR-60PB a landing ship of the Soviet navY
Crew:2+ 14 during exercises in theRed Banner
Combatweisht: 10300 kq(22,708 Ib) C aucas ian M ilitary D is trict.

El 0r-64 ;rmoured personnel carrier


Rather than employ the Soviet BTR- /
60P series of BxB armoured personnel 0,"
carriers, Czechoslovakia and Poland
decided to develop their ovrn vehicle.
This entered sewice in 1964 and in
addition to berng used by Czechoslo-
valca and Poland has also been ex-
ported to Hungary, India, Libya,
Morocco, Sudan, Syria and Uqanda.
The main advantages of the 0T-64
over the Sovret vehrcle are that the
former is powered by a diesel irstead
of two petrol engJines (gnving a longer
operational ranqe and reduced risk of
fire) and that the troop compartment is
fr:lly enclosed. The 0T-64 is heavier
than the Sovret vehicle, however, and
has a lower power-to-weigiht ratio.
Many of the automotive components of
the 0T-64 are also used in the TATRA
BI3 range of BxB cross-country vehi-
cles, which are wrdely used for civil
andmilitaryapplications, oTSKOT-2Ahasaone-mantturetiden- Above : The 0T-6 4C ( I ) armoured Below : The OT - 64C ( I ) armoured
firetruttotth<iOT-64isofall-welded tical with that fitted to the BTR-6OPB personnelcarrier and its earlier personnel carrier fi as t}e same one-
steel construction that provides pro- BxB APC and the BRDM-2 4x4scout models are use d by C zechoslovakia man turret as fitted to theSoviet
tection ftom small arms fire and shell car; this turret ls armed with a 14 S-mm and Poland in place of the Soviet BTR- BRDM-? (4x4) and BTR-60P8 (8x80)
splinters, maximum hull armour thick- (0,57-in) and a 7.62-mm (0.3-in) 60series. veftr'cJes.
n'ess being 10mm (O,39in), The com- machine-gun. Some vehicles have
mander aid driver'are s6ated at the beenflttedwithawire-gnrlded'Sagger'
foont of the vehicle with the engdne to ATGW on each side of the turret to
theu immediate rear, The troop com- give the veLucle an anti-tank capabil-
paitment is at the rear of the hull, and ity. The OT-64C(2) or SKOT-2AP is
accesstothisisgainedviatwodoorsin used by Poland and has a new hnret
the hul1 rear, Roof hatches are pro- withadistinctivecurvedtopwhrchhas
vrded over the top of the troop cbm- the same armament as the turet of the
partment, and firing ports are lbcated OT-64C(I) but with an elevation of
in the side and rear. fhe 0T-64 is ful]y +89.5' to enable them to engtage air-
amphibious, being driven in the water craft and helicopters Other more spe-
by two propellers mounted under the cialized versions include a recovery
hirll r<jar-at a speed of 9 km/h vehicie and at least two command
(5.6 mph); before the vehicle enters vehicles desigmated R-2 and R-3
the water a trim vane ls erected at the Czechoslovakia also still uses a num-
front of the huil and the bilge pumps berof OT-810halftrackvehrcles Dur-
are switched on. All vehicles have ing World War II the Germans made
night-visionequipment, front-mounted the SdKfz 251 half{rack at the Skoda
winch and an NBC system, plant in Pilsen, where production con-
The original mem6er of the family, iinued after the end of the war' In the
the OT-64h (or SKOT in Poland) was 1950s many of these vehicles, bV !h9! Specification
roof-mounted designated the OT-810' were rebuilt
sometimes fiited with a oT-64C(l) 2,06m(6ft9in)
7,62-mm (0.3-in) machine-gun, The and fitted with a diesel engine and Crew:2* 15 Performance: maximum road sPeed
the
0T-648 (SIiOT-2j has on the rbof to overhead armour protection .for tle combatweight: 14500 kq(31,967 lb) 94.4 kn/h(59 mph); maximumroad
rear of the engine compartment a troop compartment. Most of the OT- Powerplant: one Tatra V-B diesel range 710 krn (441 miles); fording
engine developing lB0 hp (134 kW) amphibious; grradient 60 Per cent;
'(0.3-in)on which is mounteil a ?,62-mm B10s (3,23-in)
plinth have now been fitted with the 82-
or 12.7-mm (0,5-in) machine- mm M59A recoilless gnrn for Dimensions: length 7,44 m ((24 ft 5 in); vertical obstacle O,5 m (l ft 7,7 in);
wrdth 2.55 m (B ft 4,4 in); heisht overall trench 2,0 m (6 ft 7 in)
en:n fitted wrth a shield, The OT-64C(I) use in the antt-tank role

I 160
Armed Forces of the World Pa:r 2

US l{arl
Equipment
Equipment at the individual level is much the same
for the US Marine Corps as for the US Army. The
basic combat weapon used by all ranks is the
M1641 5.56-mm (0.22-in) rifle, and the M60 7.62-
mm (0.3-in) machine-gun is the squad weapon. At
battalion level the B1-mm mortar is used, and each
battalion has its own Dragon anti-tank missiles and
iedeye or Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. As a rule,
US Marine battalions must operate with less direct
support than that provided for other fighting units,
so they are worse supplied with artillery than
comparable formations. Close support is expected
:c come from US Marine aircraft wings and from
^aval gun fire provided by the US Navy. Still, US
'/arines do have the 155-mm (6.1-in) M198 towed
:owitzer, and current plans are for some form of
:rxiliary power unit to be fitted to these howitzers
'rr purely local moves across beaches and the like.
-re US Marine Corps also has a number of self-
:.opelled artillery items such as the heavy 203-mm
3-in) M1 10A1 and a sizableforce of 155-mm (6.1in) support, the US Marines recently conducted a United States Navy Landing Craft Mechanized
',110941 howitzers. TOW heavy anti-tank missiles series of trials to determine exact i wnai rype of (LCM), Ioaded with M60 MBTs, back out of the
:'e also in good supply. vehicle would be required. Tn s crcgrarr-e was a docking well of a Landing Ship Dock (LSD). I n the
For armoured support, the US Marines have 575 joint US Army/US Marine projec:6'i :€S; tei n tne luture LCMs will be partly replaced by hovercralt
Light Armoured Vehicle (LA\',. a ', e^ . e c arreC 'or
which will have a much higherspeedand
','6041 main battletanksarmedwith 105-mm (4.13- therefore be less vulnerable to enemy fire.
- M68 main guns. These tanks are good combat production in various forr:s :: s-: : '.-:er of
,ehicles but somewhat heavy for amphibious purposes. ln tne end the Ll, e-:-j:: ;: ; ,i'anr
of the wheeled 8x8 MOV, -3 ='."'= :' -o ^a rv a An M 60f- 1 MBT of the US M arine Corps head s
:oerations (and not easily transportable by air, a inland alter being landed onthe beach.Thiswill
:rcblem the US Marine Corps shares with the US Swiss design but prod-c3::, 3:-=-. ',':::'s o' be replaced by the M I Abrams MBT , which has
:'rny) so a search is now under way for a replace- Canada. The LAV wirl be :'::-::: ' = ,:'ew o{ been in servicewith theUS Armyfor severalyears
-ent, probably to emerge as a light tank with an forms, from a versicn,,.' r^ :31--- 3 :tr- - gJn to In the past the Marines have often been re-
--:omatic 75-mm (2.95-in) main gun. For direct fire a version with 25-r - i"= ' 3 -' : -- - *'-'.a's, equipped years after the Army.
='
r? .#\
Armed Forces of the World t/ztS>
TOW missile-armed vehicles, and so on. Costs have
risen alarmingly, threatening the success of the LAV
programme. ln any event the M60A1 will be around
for some years to come.
The other US Marine Corps armour component is
the LVTP-7 amphibious armoured personnel carrier.
While the LWP-7 is a very successful design of its
kind, the amphibious requirement makes it a high
and bulky vehicle. lt does have its own built-in
armament in the form oI 12.7-mm (0.5-in) machine-
guns, and there are specialized recovery and
engineer variants.
The replacement'new-generation' assault
vehlcle is the LW7A1 manufactured by the FMC
Corporation of Chicago in three basic configura-
tions: (1) personnel carrier, capable of transporting
25 combat-equipped troops (in addition to its crew
of three) or 4536 kg (10,000 lb) of cargo; (2) mobile
command post, equipped as a communications
centre; and (3) recovery vehicle outfitted with a
hydraulic, telescoping crane with a 2722-kg (6,000-
lb) capacity, a 13608-kg (30,000-lb) capacity
recovery winch, plus cutting. welding and other
portable maintenance equipment. Some 984 earlier
LVTP-7 vehicles will be modernized to LW7A1
standard, and 329 more of the vehicles will be
assembled from new production by 1986.
The US Marine Corps is looking even further
ahead, however, to a replacement for the LW7A1 '
and has eventual plans for a Landing Vehicle Assault
(LVA. not to be confused with the LAV), but costs
least 10 of these larger and more modern assault A US Marine Corps MV-25 (Light Armoured
are escalating and it may develop that this require-
ships, and possiblY as many as 16. vehicle) enters the water during antphibious trials
ment will have to be met by a special version of the held at Twenty Nine Palms, California. The MV-25
US Army's M2 Bradley fighting vehicle. The US Navy will also request funds in its Fiscal
is built by General Motors of Canada, and is fitted
At present, the US Navy operates only enough Year 1985 budgetto build a new class ship, the LHD, with a twoman power-operated turtet armed with
specialized assault ships to accommodate one which will be capable of launch and recovery of a 25-mm Chain Gun, which is also fitted to the M2 '
Marine Amphibious Force at any given time. though other fixed-wing aircraft in addition to Harriers, as
well as helicopters. Both the LSD41 and the LHD locations f rom which they can be moved rapidly into
it is the policy of the Department of Defense under
will have the capability to carry a new hovercraft, the a crisis area. US Marines would be flown into the
Secretary Caspar Weinberger to prepare for what
landing air cushion craft, being procured to support area to be joined with their equipment. Deployment
Weinberger calls a 'Two and a half war (at the same
movement of the amphibious force ashore. in this manner takes advantage of the heavy lift and
time) capability'. Assault ships are highly specialized
Further enhancements in strategic mobility will loiter capability of ships and the speed of airlift to get
vessels with provision for carrying landing boats or
LWP-7s along the sides, and most have internal be achieved through a programme wherein mat6riel the US Marine brigade to the crisis area rapidly.
hangars for further stowage of both. The vessels capable of supporting three US Marines brigades M arines transport equipment ashore with their
have helicopter landing decks and extensive will be embarked aboard specially configured M274 (4x4) Mechanical Mule light vehicles. Th*e
communications equipment. Command centres are merchant ships of the Military Sealift Command. will scr,n be phased out of service in favour of the
provided in each ship. but one vessel is usually These ships, maritime prepositioning ships, capable AM G eneral H igh Mobility Multi- purpose Wheeled
designated the 'f lagship' or overall command vessel of offloading rin port or over-the-shore in a permis- Vehicle (HMMWV) which has much greater
and retains the bulk of the command and control sive environment, will be positioned at strategic capacity.
facilities. Unfortunately, many of the assault ships
are of the LSD-28 class laid down many Years ago
and now approaching the end o{ their useful lives.
The US Navy has on charge no less than 65
specialized assault ships of various kinds, but at any
one time far fewer are available for use. Top of the
command structure are two 'Blue Ridge'-class
landing craft command (LCC). Five of the 'Tarawa'-
class amphibious general assault ships (LHAs) are in
a sense small aircraft-carriers, being able to carry
BAe AV-BA or McDonnell Douglas AV-BB Hanier
attack planes and CH-46 or other helicopters.
Harriers or helicopters can also be carried by the
seven 'lwo Jima'-class helicopter carriers. There are
no fewer than 14 vessels of the landing platform,
dock (LPD) and 13 of the landing ship, dock (LSD)
type. M60A1 main battle tanks are carried in landing
ship, tank (LST) vessels whose vintage traces to the
amphibious campaigns of World War ll, there being
1 8 such vessels of the 'Newport' class in service. To

back up all of these vessels are six 'Charleston'-


class amphibious cargo ships (LKAs), 44 replenish-
ment ships and 20 depot and repair ships.
The first two vessels of the new 'Whidbey lsland'
or LSD-41 class of assault ship are now under
construction to improve significantly the US
Marines' rapid+esponse and amphibious capabili-
ties. 'lmpressive' is the word used by General
Barrow for these vessels. The US Navy will build at

iv